Published On: April 14, 2023 12:00 PM NPT By: Agencies

New ‘Big Bang Theory’ Series in the Works at Max

New ‘Big Bang Theory’ Series in the Works at Max

Max, the newly named merged HBO Max-Discovery+ service, is reteaming with Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre for a new series set in the same world as the former CBS hit,as per the report of The Hollywood Reporters. Plot details are being kept under wraps for what would be the second offshoot of television’s longest-running multicamera comedy series ever. Prequel series Young Sheldon, currently airing its sixth season on CBS, was the first offshoot from Big Bang Theory. The flagship series, created by Lorre and Bill Prady, aired for 12 seasons on CBS. The new Big Bang, like the flagship and prequel series, hails from Warner Bros. Television. The studio has been Lorre’s home for decades.

Big Bang Theory streams exclusively on Max (the former HBO Max) following a landmark deal with Lorre and Warners. The studio is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, with the extension of the Big Bang Theory franchise coming exclusively to streaming rather than being sold to Paramount Global’s CBS. Young Sheldon currently ranks as the most watched comedy on broadcast among total viewers. That follows the trajectory of the original series, which was a hit with total viewers and the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic.

The Big Bang Theory launched in 2007 and wrapped its run in 2019 after 279 episodes. Emmy-nominated star Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper, ultimately was responsible for the show coming to an end after he decided to walk away from the series rather than continue on. Lorre had always been adamant about only continuing the show if the entire cast — Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch — wanted to continue the show.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of going on without the whole ensemble — and the whole ensemble is why we succeeded,” Lorre previously told THR. “In pulling it apart and re-approaching it as a fraction of what it was just never felt right to me. I’ve seen other shows try and fail to take a character out of their realm and carry on. And maybe Frasier is the only thing I could think of off the top of my head where it really did work, thanks to the lightning strike of David Hyde Pierce.”

At the conclusion of the series, the central stars earned $1 million an episode on top of their ownership points on the show. Many also parlayed the show’s success into overall deals with producers Warner Bros. Television.

“It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after [season] 12 was up,” Parsons told The Hollywood Reporter at the show’s May 2019 wrap party. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m an Aries or just because maybe I’m in touch with myself. Whatever it is, once I had that thought, I was like, ‘Well, that’s your answer.’”

Lorre, meanwhile, had always been open about the reasons to expand the franchise beyond Young Sheldon.

“Truthfully, the reason for a spinoff is economics, and that’s not the reason to do a show,” Lorre said as part of a wide-ranging interview pegged to his 2019 THR Producer of the Year honor. “You should do a show because you have something you really love and you want to do it. Economics follow passion. If you start with economics … well, shit, become a network executive.”

Big Bang ended with Leonard (Galecki) and Penny (Cuoco) expecting their first child. That idea naturally created talk of a spinoff that could follow the married couple on their path to becoming parents.

“(Laughing.) No. I don’t want to be too definitive, but then I was in my weird way. I feel like these seven characters share seven different areas of the same brain. We have split them off in every single different division you can and it all works. There’s no two that don’t work together. I don’t think it would be a disaster, but it wouldn’t be Big Bang,” Galecki previously told THR when asked about a Leonard and Penny spinoff. Added Cuoco: “Uhhh, no! But if Chuck asked me I would highly consider it because I don’t say no to Chuck! … I think they’re going to be awesome parents. They waited so many years and they’re so fun and easygoing. Or Penny is really kind of easygoing! I think they’d be adorable parents. I can only imagine.”

The new Big Bang offshoot becomes Lorre’s latest series for Max, joining Sebastian Maniscalco comedy How to Be a Bookie. That series, like Young Sheldon, hails from Warner Bros. TV. Lorre also exec produces the CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola. He is repped by UTA.

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