HBO Max came out as the main contender for the streaming rights to the longest-running multi-camera sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. The streaming service has secured exclusive rights to the beloved comedy series in the U.S., in a staggering multi-billion dollar deal.
All the 12 seasons of the Emmy winning show will be available to stream for the first time ever on WarnerMedia backed HBO Max, when the platform launches in the spring of 2020.
The direct-to-consumer service will hold the exclusive rights for the next 5 years, although the show, created by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (Gilmore Girls), has also extended its syndication deal with TBS through 2028. Industry sources confirmed that WarnerMedia committed about $600 million over five years for The Big Bang Theory rights, across HBO Max and TBS, according to Variety.
“It’s not every day you get to extend the run of a cultural phenomenon that reaches nearly 35 million viewers on TBS alone every month,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer at HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT and truTV. “Through HBO Max and TBS, fans will have access to this beloved comedy for generations to come.”
The announcement of the Big Bang deal was well-anticipated as news on other classic comedies’ streaming rights surfaced this week. Netflix committed about $500 million for the exclusive streaming rights for Seinfeld, HBO Max spent another $425 million to obtain rights to Friends from Netflix, and Comcast’s upcoming platform paid $500 million for the rights to The Office.
“Few shows define a generation and capture mainstream zeitgeist like The Big Bang Theory,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and HBO Max. “We’re thrilled that HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home for this comedy juggernaut when we launch in the spring of 2020. This show has been a hit virtually around the globe, it’s one of the biggest shows on broadcast television of the last decade, and the fact that we get to bring it to a streaming platform for the first time in the U.S. is a coup for our new offering.”
The show starring Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, received 55 Emmy nominations and took home 10 wins during its successful run. The series wrapped production in May 2019, signing off as broadcast’s No. 1 scripted half-hour in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Young Sheldon, a spin-off prequel series from the Big Bang, based on Sheldon Cooper’s childhood (played by Jim Parsons), has been renewed for two additional seasons, as of February 2019.