America’s most popular sitcom return on Monday night – and there are indicators it could mark the swan tune of a display that has been defined as ‘the new Friends’


Geeks gone wild: Kunal Nayyar, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and also Simon Helberg in The huge Bang Theory. Photograph: CBS photo Archive/CBS via Getty Images
Geeks unable to do wild: Kunal Nayyar, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and also Simon Helberg in The big Bang Theory. Photograph: CBS photograph Archive/CBS via Getty Images

The world’s biggest television display returns to US screens tonight, but a question note hangs end its future. Over there are indicators that this – a landmark 10th season – can mark the swan track of the sitcom that has actually been described countless times end the past 5 years as “the new Friends”.

You are watching: Cast of big bang theory season 10

CBS’s tale of the lives and also loves that misfit researchers at the California academy of technology is the critical season under the current commission deal. That cast and crew have actually put the end a range of blended messages about whether or not the display will make it come season 11. Showrunner Steve Malero said last year that “maybe season 10 is the finishing point”, but Jim Parsons, that plays Sheldon, said: “If the opportunity to go past season 10 come up, I’d be an extremely hard-pressed to tell friend who could say no – if anyone would.”

The show’s three stars – Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and also Parsons are among the highest possible paid in TV, earning $1m per episode. (This is said to have actually caused part dissent in the actors – Mayim Bialik (Amy) and also Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) struggle along ~ above $100,000 per installment). However, the display is a big earner for CBS – its ninth season to be the highest-rated non-sports transfer of the year, averaging 20 million viewers per episode – an interpretation that its actors can extract a high fee. However, even the greatest TV networks have their limit.

The huge Bang Theory began in 2007, fresh from the pen that sitcom sultan chuck Lorre, creator that Two and a half Men and also Cybill. The premise – odd couple Leonard and also Sheldon have actually brilliant minds yet can’t speak to girls – had actually bite, but the show didn’t seem favor a smash. But then a few things happened. Very first of all, Parsons’ portrayal the genius/nightmare Sheldon became one the the many beloved comedy characters in recent memory. Parsons bring an awkward, irresistible physical and facial panache to laser-guided present of the obnoxious range we all periodically wish we can get away through saying the end loud.

The show’s time was likewise spot-on. Simply as in the show, in real-life geeks inherited the Earth, an interpretation the multitude the science-fiction gags, references and also cameos felt totally relatable. Many crucially, the show hit the stride upon broadening the female cast, v the development of Bialik and also Rauch. With the guys compelled out of their closed-off emotional spaces, it became a truly person show, full of heart alongside the Stephen Hawking cameos and Marvel in-jokes.

And as we enter season 10 v Leonard and Penny’s unofficially “second wedding” tonight, all of that hangs in the balance. Cuoco did little to assuage fan comes to that we can be nearing the big Crunch on a current Jimmy Kimmel appearance, saying the 10 years was more than likely enough: “It’s a many hair, it’s a the majority of denim sizes.”

Would ending the show at this allude be such a disaster? Ten years has proven to be a benchmark for long-running sitcoms. Cheers and Frasier do it to 11 seasons; Friends come 10. Just like The huge Bang Theory, the quality barely dropped. Contract negotiation aside, the mirrors went the end on a high.

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In big Bang’s case, the hit-rate hasn’t decreased at all, and there seems to be plenty left in the tank. Tonight’s premiere introduces Penny’s household for the an initial time. Sheldon’s slow-moving realization – through Amy – that he can be person after all is quiet hugely engaging. Howard and Bernadette face parenthood. This is no a display that feel spent.

Yet the buzzards still circle. Speak recently, Molaro no exactly dominion out the possibility of the show proceeding without part or all of its key cast. Repopulating hit reflects has worked to extents in the past, yet a huge Bang concept without Sheldon and also his “bazingas” and also sympathetic heat beverages have to surely be unthinkable.

Perhaps the most realistic alternative is what Happy job did v Mork and also Mindy, or Cheers v Frasier (let’s not mention Joey at this challenging time). Spinning off some smaller (crucially for the network, cheaper) personalities into various scenarios deserve to be the perfect salvage plan in this situation. And to square the one of geekness, Marvel haven’t exactly done also badly out of the “shared universe”.

There is no shortage the options. Raj return to India together the fish-out-of-water after ~ so long in California? Howard and Bernadette increasing a tribe of children in an beloved Brady Bunch riff? Stuart indigenous the comic publication store hitting the Hollywood large time? I’d watch any of those. I’d additionally watch anything – anything – the featured Bialik’s sublime Amy Farrah Fowler. Personally I’ve always liked to imagine the Amy is some remote relative the Dr Lilith Sternin-Crane indigenous Cheers. Currently there’s a set-up I could get behind. Room you reading this, CBS?

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