THE SHOW WASN’T PITCHED IN A TRADITIONAL WAY.
Rather than writing a premise—which includes outlines of the characters and the long term vision for the show—and pitching it to CBS, co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady revealed at PaleyFest in 2009 that for their pitch, they wrote a complete script, hired actors, and, as Lorre explained, “put on a show” for CBS president Les Moonves. Lorre stated the experience was “crazy,” yet it clearly worked.
IT TOOK TWO PILOTS FOR THE SHOW TO GET PICKED UP TO SERIES.
The show recorded two different pilots, in light of the fact that CBS didn’t care for the first yet felt the show had potential. The primary pilot started with an different theme song and starred Sheldon, Leonard, and two female characters, including a different actress playing what eventually became Penny’s part. Chuck Lorre thought the first pilot “sucked” yet is interested in having the unaired pilot included as a part of a DVD.
ED ROBERTSON OF THE BARENAKED LADIES HESITATED TO WRITE THE THEME SONG.
As the story goes, Lorre and Prady went to a Barenaked Ladies show and were impressed that lead vocalist Ed Robertson sang a melody on cosmological theory, so they got him to write the series theme song, called “The History of Everything.” In 2013, Robertson told CBS News that he had in the past written a few themes for TV and movies and was rejected, so he was at first hesitant to tackle the task.
“I was like, look, how many other people have you asked to write this? I’m at my cottage, I got a couple of weeks off right now and if you’ve asked Counting Crows and Jack Johnson and all these other people to write it, then I kinda don’t want to waste my time on it,” Robertson informed them. Lorre and Prady told Robertson he was only one they wanted for the job, so Robertson agreed. The principal adaptation was 32 seconds in length however Robertson had to trim it down to 15 seconds. The first version was acoustic, which Lorre liked, however Robertson was insistant that his bandmates be on the track, and Lorre preferred that one over the original.
KUNAL NAYYAR GOT HIRED BECAUSE HE WAS “Charming.“
In reminiscing about the early days, Prady explained to Buzzy Mag how Raj came to be: “When we were casting for that part, we were casting for an international member of the ensemble, [because] if you go into the science department at a university, it’s not [just] Americans,” Prady said. “It’s one of the most international kinds of communities. So we saw foreign-born people. And so we saw people who were Korean and Korean-American and Latino. And then Kunal came in and it was like Jim [Parsons]—it was just Person Number Eight on a day of Twenty-Seven people, and he was charming.”
MY WAS MADE A NEUROSCIENTIST ON PURPOSE.
Mayim Bialik, who, in reality, has a PhD in neuroscience, told Variety how Amy Farrah Fowler’s profession came to be. “They didn’t have a profession for my character when I came on in the finale of season three,” she reveals. “In season four, Bill Prady said they’d make her what I am so I could fix things (in the script) if they were wrong. It’s neat to know what things mean. But most of the time, I don’t have to use it.”
WIL WHEATON GOT THE “EVIL WIL WHEATON” ROLE THROUGH TWITTER.
Wheaton, who plays a “delightfully evil version” of himself on the show, tweeted about The Big Bang Theory. Wheaton told Larry King, “I was talking on Twitter about how much I loved the show and how I thought it was really funny.” One of the show’s producers, Steven Molaro, saw the tweet and advised Wheaton to contact him if he was interested in going to a taping. A couple of days later Wheaton got an email from Bill Prady’s assistant about making an appearance on the show. “I just thought the email was a joke from one of my friends, so I just ignored it,” Wheaton said.
When Wheaton found out that the email was genuine he called up Prady, who informed him they needed a rival for Sheldon. “It’s always more fun to be the villain,” Wheaton said. Despite the fact that the character has somewhat transformed into Sheldon’s ally, Wheaton said, “I still call him Evil Wil Wheaton.”
PARSONS ATTRIBUTES THE SHOW’S SUCCESS TO ITS LACK OF CHARACTER ARCS.
In a 2014 meeting with New York Magazine, Parsons gave his hypothesis (maybe) on why The Big Bang Theory pulls in more than 20 million viewers a week—a number unfathomable since the Friends-time sitcom rule. “There’s not anything to stay aware of,” he said. “You don’t go, ‘I didn’t see the initial three seasons, and now they’re off with whores, and they no more work in the Mafia, and I don’t comprehend what happened.’ People have such a large number of decisions on TV now, so nobody’s requesting you to wed us. You can make the most of our show without a week by week arrangement.” For the 2014-2015 season, The Big Bang Theory positioned as the fourth most sat in front of the TV show (number one for sitcoms), with just Empire and football gloating better evaluations.
A NEW GENUS OF JELLYFISH IS NAMED BAZINGA.
In 2011, a photographer discovered the unnamed grape-sized rhizostome in Australia’s Brunswick River, snapped a photograph of it, and sent the photograph to marine biologist Lisa-ann Gershwin. In 2013, she named the jellyfish and published a paper on it for the Queensland Museum. In her discoveries she called it “a new genus and species of the rhizostome jellyfish, which cannot be placed in any known family or suborder.” She told The Huffington Post that it’s the first run through in over 100 years that a new sub-order of jellyfish had been found. For now, it’s the only member of the genus Bazinga, the family Bazingidae, and the sub-order Ptychophorae. Sheldon’s catchphrase also inspired the naming of a new honey bee species in 2013.
JIM PARSONS AND KALEY CUOCO-SWEETING ARE THE WORLD’S HIGHEST PAID TV ACTORS.
When Forbes released its annual list of the world’s highest paid male TV actors, Jim Parsons landed on top with a gross of $29 million, having made that income from June 1, 2014-June 1, 2015. He gets about $1 million per episode and a cut of the show’s back-end profits. He now outranks Ashton Kutcher, who’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for making $26 million for his work on Two and a Half Men (another one of Lorre’s co-creations). Co-star Johnny Galecki came in second on the Forbes list with $27 million, followed by Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, who tied for third (with Kutcher and Mark Harmon) with $20 million apiece.
Not to be outdone, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting tops Forbes’ list of highest paid actresses, with a grand total of $28.5 million—enough to secure her the #95 spot on the 100 highest-paid celebrities (a spot she shares with Sofia Vergara).