Confirming one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, CBS announced Wednesday (March 18) that Monday night comedies "Two and a Half Men" and "Big Bang Theory" have received multi-year renewals.

The renewals will carry "Two and a Half Men" through the 2011-2012 season (three years) and "Big Bang Theory" through the 2010-2011 season (two years).

The two shows were paired together in the renewal process as Warner Brothers Television and Chuck Lorre productions, so don't start getting randomly panicky, "How I Met Your Mother" fans.

"Our collaboration with Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre for these two series has led to great entertainment for television audiences and has been very good business for CBS," says CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.  "With these shows firmly in place, CBS is well-positioned for more comedy success in the years ahead."

Adds WBTV President Peter Roth, "We are extremely grateful to and appreciative of CBS for the support and long-term commitment they have made to both of these remarkable series with their well-deserved, multi-year pickups. We look forward to many more years of continued mutual success."

Current in its sixth season, "Two and a Half Men" remains TV's most watched comedy in both total viewers (nearly 15.1 million) and among adults 18-49, with a 5.1 rating in the key demo. Both figures are up at least 13 percent this season. 

"Big Bang Theory" is in its second season and has seen a 20 percent growth in total viewers (10.05 million) and a 12 percent growth in the 18-49 demo, up 12 percent to a 3.7 rating. 

The shows are directly responsible for a 13 percent increase in total viewers and an 11 percent demo increase for CBS' two-hour Monday comedy block.

 

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