CBS renews 'Men,' 'Big Bang'

Network, WBTV settle lawsuit over license fees

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 sides also have agreed to settle 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 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 at a case management conference Tuesday, CBS and WBTV are expected to announce that they have settled, with the long-term renewals said to be factoring into the settlement.

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

"Men" and "Theory" are the main driving forces behind CBS' ratings success on Monday night this season. With most broadcast series declining, CBS' Monday-night comedy lineup is up 13% in viewers and 11% in 18-49 vs. last season.

Lorre co-created "Men" with Lee Aronsohn and "Big Bang" with Bill Prady.