“The Big Bang Theory,” network television’s No. 1 comedy series among Adults 18–49 and Adults 25–54, is set for a multiplatform off-network syndication launch in fall 2011 on the Fox Television Stations and Turner Broadcasting’s TBS, through a strategic partnership with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. The joint announcement of the multiyear agreement for the highly acclaimed series was made by Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD); Frank Cicha, Senior Vice President of Programming, Fox Television Stations; and Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming, for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
The Fox-owned stations have acquired the exclusive off-network broadcast television rights in the following 10 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, Phoenix, Miami, Orlando and Baltimore.
Cicha stated: “When the top sitcom on television becomes available, you have to take it seriously from both a qualitative and competitive standpoint, which we did. We are confident that ‘The Big Bang Theory’ will strengthen our already powerful comedy blocks on the Fox-owned stations.”
On cable, TBS will be the exclusive provider of off-network episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” and will also commence airing the series in fall 2011 as a weekday strip.
TBS’s Wright added: “‘The Big Bang Theory’ is simply one of the best comedies to come out in a very long time. With endearing characters and writing that is as consistent as it is funny, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is already a tremendous hit among young adult viewers, making it an ideal fit for TBS’s lineup.”
Werner said: “‘The Big Bang Theory’ presents an increasingly rare proposition for broadcast stations and cable services: the chance to acquire a traditional, multi-camera, A-tier comedy that is still expanding its audience on network television and which is poised for continued growth in future seasons, making it an asset that will only increase in value for Fox and TBS for years to come. A-tier sitcoms are a very rare breed that only come along once in a television generation. Past generations have each had their examples: ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’ have each transformed the performance of their broadcast and cable outlets. We are excited that our broadcast and cable partners have come together in a synergistic manner to embrace ‘The Big Bang Theory’ as this generation’s A-tier sitcom.”
Werner continued: “The demand for this show has been building steadily for more than a year. We couldn’t be more gratified by the reception that ‘Big Bang’ has received in the marketplace, and we have found the perfect launch partners in Fox and TBS, both of whom instantly realized the enormous potential value to be realized from this forward-thinking partnership. We look forward to presenting the show to stations throughout the rest of the country in the coming weeks.”
Created by Chuck Lorre (“Two and a Half Men”) & Bill Prady (“Gilmore Girls”), “The Big Bang Theory” has exploded in popularity in the 2009–10 season – its third – on CBS (Mondays 9:30 p.m. ET/PT), ranking as CBS’ number one scripted series among Adults 18–49 and Adults 25–54. “Big Bang” is also television’s No. 1 comedy among both Women and Men 18–49, as well as Women and Men 25–54. Additionally, “The Big Bang Theory” repeats rank as the number three sitcom in all of network TV, behind only its original telecasts and Warner Bros. Television’s “Two and a Half Men,” distributed off-network by WBDTD. “The Big Bang Theory” is the first comedy in at least 20 years to rank #1 show while broadcast at 9:30 p.m. “The Big Bang Theory” provides stations and cable channels with a mass-appeal, widely accessible program that repeats well and delivers a gender-balanced audience coveted by stations, cable services and advertisers. (Ratings Source: Nielsen Media Research, NTI Galaxy, Live + Same Day rating 9/21/09–5/9/10 plus repeats only ranker, excludes specials. Historical data prior to 1991 unavailable.)
For 2009, “The Big Bang Theory” received the Outstanding Achievement in Comedy honor at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Awards; the American Film Institute named the show as an official selection on its list of Television Programs of the Year; and series star Jim Parsons was nominated for an Emmy® Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and won the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. And the series won Favorite TV Comedy at the 2010 People’s Choice Awards.