/// Moonves: Big Bang Theory Will Move to Accommodate NFL Games

February 13, 2014  |  Media Week

In a bid to accommodate the hulking bruiser that is the National Football League, Leonard, Sheldon, Penny and the rest of The Big Bang Theory crew next fall will be moving out of the Nerdvana of Thursday night for a slot earlier in the week. Speaking to investors during CBS Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Les Moonves confirmed that broadcast’s No. 1 scripted show would temporarily step aside to make way for the network’s new eight-game NFL package . “What we will do with our Thursday night is, we have some big shows, such as The Big Bang Theory … and we’re not going to wait until November to launch that,” Moonves said. “That’s going to be on the air on some other night, which will grow the ratings and the rates on some other night.” (That answers one question .) Moonves added that the sophomore drama Elementary is also likely to shift to another night, and while he did not offer a specific target destination, the smart money’s on Monday. Such a move would be a homecoming of sorts for Big Bang, which in its first three seasons occupied various time slots during the night before moving to the Thursday anchor position in fall 2010. CBS could also use a boost from Elementary, which if nothing else might stanch the bleeding in the network’s Monday 10 p.m. slot. In a rare stumble, two new CBS dramas have faltered in that position; the serialized thriller Hostages averaged just 5.16 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, while successor Intelligence is faring only slightly better against NBC’s The Blacklist. While no decisions have been made on its Thursday freshman comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones, CBS is all but certain to cancel the long-in-the-tooth Two and a Half Men. Now in its eleventh season, the Chuck Lorre sitcom has plummeted 44 percent in the demo and features one of TV’s priciest casts. (Leads Ashton Kutcher commands on the order of $700,000 per episode for his work on Men, while Jon Cryer rakes in $600,000 for any given show.) After acknowledging that the competition for the new Thursday night NFL show case was “pretty fierce,” Moonves suggested that CBS was really the only proper fit for the league’s purposes. “At the end of the day, it really wasn’t about money,” he said. “The NFL was more interested in establishing their Thursday night and being in partnership with a brand, a company, a network that would do a better job of establishing that into the future.” Moonves went on to note that much as it does already on Sunday afternoons, football will serve as a powerful promotional vehicle for CBS’ fall schedule. He then added that the network hopes to extend the deal beyond the single year for which CBS is contracted. (The NFL has the right to add a second season of Thursday Night Football at its discretion.) “I am extremely pleased to have this.

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Moonves: Big Bang Theory Will Move to Accommodate NFL Games


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