CBS has closed a deal to renew the Warner Bros. TV-produced comedies "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory," as the two companies also settled their $49 million lawsuit.
"Men" has been picked up for three more years, through the 2011-12 season, while sophomore "Big Bang" has been ordered for two more years, through the 2010-2011 season.
News of the renewals leaked earlier this month when Chuck Lorre, co-creator/showrunner of both series, told the casts about the pending pickups.
Slowing down the process was WBTV's outstanding $49 million breach-of-contract suit against CBS over "Men" license fees and production-cost reimbursements.
Sources said that the case has been settled, with the long-term renewals factoring into the settlement.
"Men" and "Theory" are the main driving forces behind CBS' ratings success on Monday night this season. While most broadcast series' viewership is declining, CBS' Monday-night comedy lineup is up 13 percent in viewers from last season.
Lorre co-created "Men" with Lee Aronsohn and "Big Bang" with Bill Prady.
(China Daily/Agencies, March 19, 2009)