The hit CBS comedy (tonight, 8 ET/PT) has strapped rocket boosters onto its ratings in its sixth season, up substantially in viewers and especially among the young adults advertisers prize. It’s hitting highs at a time of life when the typical show is arcing toward earth and cancellation.
Big Bang is also the No. 1 show in syndication, and the two occurrences are not unrelated. Heavy local repeat broadcasts are combined with plentiful rerun offerings on cable’s TBS (on Tuesdays, for example, between cable and many local stations, viewers can watch seven repeats over a four-hour period). Those repeats, which both began in 2011, are pulling in new viewers, who discover they like Bang and head to CBS for new episodes.
“You kind of have to handcuff yourself to a pole in the street to not ever see our show at this point, because it’s on every second,” says Simon Helberg, who plays engineer and newlywed Howard Wolowitz.