Big Bang, Big Expectations

CBS hit makes its syndie premiere

NBCU’s 30 Rock may not be facing high ratings expectations as it
prepares to launch in syndication this week, but that’s not the case
for Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory.

That off-net sitcom, which airs on CBS at 8 p.m. on Thursdays,
premieres in syndication on Sept. 19. Stations and TBS paid top dollar
for the program, which is airing in access and late fringe across
the country, and many stations have a lot riding on it.

“The biggest factor that Big Bang has to deal with is that in some
markets the show will benefi t from being paired with Two and a Half
, but in other markets the show will have to compete with Two
and a Half Men
,“ says Bill Carroll of Katz Television. “Big Bang doesn’t
have the same clear playing field that Two and a Half Men had when it
launched. I think it will be the most successful of the new entries, but
it probably won’t achieve what Two and a Half Men did.”

Big Bang also will face another CBS Monday-night comedy—
Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother—in some markets. Station execs
also point out that Two and a Half Men was exclusive to broadcast when
it launched, while Big Bang will air on TBS starting Sept. 20.