Does The Big Bang Theory’s Finale Signal the Demise of Blockbuster TV Sitcoms?

Brands are shelling out big money for Thursday’s farewell—and looking for its successor

TV’s biggest moment this week won’t occur during any upfront event, but rather on Thursday night, when CBS airs the series finale of The Big Bang Theory. The longest-running multi-camera series in TV history (with 279 episodes over 12 seasons), The Big Bang Theory has been the last remaining blockbuster sitcom in the streaming era: like Friends, Two and a Half Men and Seinfeld before it, its episodes drew enormous audiences not only in original airings but also repeats and syndication. “In addition to being the biggest show on TV, it’s one of the best,” said CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl. “In a career, if you can work on a show or two that touches that level of success, you’re pretty fortunate.”

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This story first appeared in the May 13, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.