Nerds rule.

In a rare programming move, CBS has renewed television's No. 1 comedy, "The Big Bang Theory," for not one, not two, but three seasons.

That means fans will have Sheldon, Leonard, Penny and the rest of the gang coming into their living rooms for at least through the 2016-2017 season.

"Comedy is a big part of our schedule, and 'The Big Bang Theory' is the biggest comedy force on television," said Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment, in a statement. "This multiyear deal further strengthens our network's position for future seasons and marks another chapter in the great partnership CBS enjoys with Warner Bros. Television for delivering audiences the best in comedy. ..."

"The Big Bang Theory," which premiered in September 2007, has been television's top comedy in viewers since 2010-2011 and continues as the No. 1 comedy in key demographics for the second straight season. This season, the show is averaging 19.79 million viewers -- a 4 percent increase over last year.

Now that the series has been locked up, Warner Bros. Television will focus on the stars, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, who are seeking hefty salary increases. Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the trio, who currently earn $325,000 per episode, are seeking up to $1 million per half-hour.

Locking up "The Big Bang Theory" was a key priority for CBS, which bids farewell to the highly popular comedy, "How I Met Your Mother," after this season.

Contact Chuck Barney at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.ChuckBarney, or Twitter.com/chuckbarney