No matter what you or anyone else thinks about The Big Bang Theory, it is the most watched television show today and has been for a while. We know, we know, a lot of outspoken people hate it but the ratings aren’t up for debate and there are loads of people tuning in. With that in mind, if you hate the show feel free to leave us a comment telling us why (therichest.com’s Facebook page is a great location to tell us what you think about the show under the link to this article and access lots of our other lists). While you’re there you can also find links to our other articles looking at a bevy of different topics. If you love the show we also urge you to take to the page and let the haters know just how wrong they are, right after you find out more about one of your favorite shows.
When putting together this list we scoured interviews, websites, and any other sources we could think of to find out some surprising stories about the show and its stars. We can’t say that all of our readers will be unaware of the facts we’ve listed as everyone’s base of knowledge is completely different. However, we can assure you that you that the majority of people will be caught unawares by some of what is to come and if you aren’t you must be one of the show’s mega fans. Additionally, we are aware this information is out there for anyone to find but we’re sure that those involved in the production of the show would prefer these facts stay under wraps. So, without any further ado, let’s learn about one of the most popular shows in the world.
15. Roseanne Connections (Actors And Writer)
When it came time to cast The Big Bang Theory you can almost imagine the casting director putting up a board with stars from Roseanne and throwing darts at it since so many actors appeared in both. Don’t get us wrong, it isn’t like they got the kid who played D.J. to come and read for Penny (though imagining that is a lot of fun), but the connections are pretty astounding. Before we list the actors and the roles they played in both shows we’d like to point out why we think this is the case. Creator, writer and executive producer of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre’s first major job was as a writer, Co-executive producer and supervising producer on Roseanne. It seems clear that he enjoyed working with many of these actors all those years earlier and gave them roles in his biggest series yet.
The first and most notable actor to appear in both series is Big Bang Theory lead actor Johnny Galecki, who is best known today as Dr. Leonard Hofstadter but was once David from Roseanne. Then there is David’s longstanding girlfriend Darlene played by Sara Gilbert. She was given a recurring and starring role in the first two seasons of Big Bang as Leslie Winkle. Then, of course, there is actress Laurie Metcalf who starred on Roseanne as Jackie and can be seen in several Big Bang episodes as Sheldon’s mom, Mary Cooper. Finally, in a lesser known connection, actress, Meagen Fay who played Bernadette’s mother also appeared in several Roseanne episodes.
14. Real Scientists Check Up On Them
A show that markets itself as being about a group of nerdy friends and their implausibly hot ladies, this series doesn’t only focus on nerd culture. No, most episodes include their fair share of scientific jargon that is meant to sound impressive and give the impression that these characters are far more intelligent than the average person. Let’s face it, though, the majority of people who plunk down on their couch to have a laugh have very little idea what they are talking about, so they probably could get away with a lot. That doesn’t mean that a great deal of effort doesn’t go into ensuring that the few audience members who will be able to discern if they start to spout gibberish won’t be disgusted. That is because astroparticle physicist, David Saltzberg serves as a scientific consultant and keeps them honest.
13. Barenaked Ladies Replaced Thomas Dolby (After Creators Attended Concert)
If you ask us, one of the most recognizable elements of each episode of this insanely popular show has to be its theme, “The History of Everything” by The Barenaked Ladies. A quick and catchy song that recounts the way our universe has developed, it has many fans humming and singing along before yelling ‘bang’ along with the track, each time it plays. We’re guessing it would surprise you to know that at one point the series was going to have a completely different opening. An early version of the pilot that never made it to air has leaked online and in it the original theme song, Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” is revealed. The tune may be a classic eighties track that a lot of people love to this day but it is hard to imagine hearing it during every episode.
12. Penny Replaced Katie And Gilda
Speaking of that unaired original pilot, which is terrible by the way, due in large part to a much nastier tone in several scenes, Penny was nowhere to be seen in it. Instead, there is another character, Katie which takes up a very similar part in the story, as a “hot girl” that Leonard is infatuated with and Sheldon wishes would go away. Introduced as the pair of doctors walk down a city street, the fact that she is weeping on the side of the road inspires Leonard to invite her into their home and eventually let her stay with them. We’re really happy that they recast the role and actress, though we’re guessing Amanda Walsh, the original actor who has been good in other things, doesn’t feel the same way. Unfortunately, they also got rid of a character named Gilda, who was entertaining. A scientist that works with the guys, she states several times that she and Leonard are meant to be together and it would have been fun to see how that played out.
11. Kaley’s 21 Month Marriage
Actress Kaley Cuoco, who was previously best known as one of the stars of 8 Simple Rules, is a pretty huge star today because of her starring role on this show. A very attractive woman who is under an unfair amount of scrutiny, she has unfortunately had to learn what it means when parts of the world wants to know about every element of your private life. Case in point, her failed marriage to Ryan Sweeting. We all know that divorce is a fact of life in modern society, yet for some reason, Kaley’s relationship coming to that common end was news to some people. If you’re like us and don’t follow the tabloids this will be news to you.
10. Cuoco And Galecki Dated
Speaking of Kaley’s personal life, the most loyal of Big Bang fans would obviously like to see her end up with one specific person, her on-screen husband Johnny Galecki. That is why a certain section of their fans rejoiced when news hit the internet that the pair had dated for two years after meeting on set. Those same people were probably then devastated to learn that they broke up in 2009, but the fact that their end was amicable and they continued to get along may have given them hope. Recently seen staying rather close to one another at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards, their intimate behavior got the fans that follow that type of thing talking again. Add to those rumors that Kaley was quoted as saying that “Johnny and I are very close now” and people are talking about them once again.
9. Kaley Cuoco, A Tabloid Mainstay
If it isn’t clear just yet, we’re just going to come out and say it. Kaley Cuoco has had her personal life dissected by many people, especially tabloid editors who love to report on her latest dating trials and tribulations. While some websites and papers love to claim that they know the real reason her marriage ended, even her professional life is fodder for them. For instance, in recent months there is a lot of talk that she has a divas attitude onset and on top of that, her salary demands have caused tension with some of her co-stars.
8. Mayim Bialik On Diapers
Another one of the main actresses on the show, reporters, and paparazzi don’t need to dig into Mayim Bialik’s life because she loves to tell the world about it, especially her mothering philosophy. Writing for today.com, she trumpeted her belief in a practice that is anything but common in North America, elimination communication. What that term boils down to is that she didn’t use diapers for her child, long before an age most parents even consider starting to potty train. Referring to the fact that she believes that most will find her choice “totally out of their heads loco bonkers insane in the membrane”, she even admitted that her husband wasn’t initially on board. As a result of the practice (which she admits resulted in some rather unfortunate accidents), she says her son could sign that he needed to use a toilet by the age of ten months.
7. Mayim Bialik Attachment Parenting
If our previous entry didn’t give you the impression that Mayim’s parenting choices are outside the norm, this one certainly will. Speaking to a reporter for Time, she “extolls the virtues” of attachment parenting, which she went as far as to write a book about. Not sure what that means? The article explains it as a “catch-all term for natural childbirth, co-sleeping, wearing baby in a sling and breastfeeding for a really long time”. Criticized by many as a manner of parenting in which the child is in charge, she speaks to the fact that she didn’t teach her kids things like saying please, thank you or I’m sorry as well but they eventually started using the terms anyway.
6. Filmed In Front Of A Live Studio Audience
A show that some people criticize for its canned laughter, those folks would probably be pretty shocked to learn that it is actually taped in front of a live studio audience. Now that shows don’t really have voiceover pointing that fact anymore, many shows no longer use the practice but this series isn’t one of them, as a cursory search for Big Bang Theory tickets will reveal. Taped at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, getting in is free but you need to be above the age of eighteen and very on the ball as such opportunities are in very high demand.
5. Plagiarized In The Past
It is just a fact of life in the pop culture world when something is a success it will soon be followed by others trying to follow in its footsteps. When The Office became a huge hit, other documentary-style comedies (including an American remake) soon followed. When Seinfeld and Friends ruled the airwaves all the new sitcoms starred a group of thirty-something friends, oftentimes even living in New York. Whatever the equation that seemed to make your show a hit, others are going to try to bite your style.
What isn’t to be expected, however, is straight up plagiarism as The Big Bang Theory suffered. The Theorists, a sitcom that debuted in Belarus, a country that borders Russia, shamelessly ripped them off including the basic concept, cast of characters and even the history lesson opening theme. Gone quickly after its debut, it couldn’t be continued after the actor who played a similar role to Leonard led a cast walkout after the plagiarism was revealed.
4. Replaced By What?
It may be impossible to fathom now, but this television behemoth didn’t start out that way. Think that sounds wrong? Well, this tidbit should put things into perspective for you; during its first season a midseason replacement called Welcome to the Captain took its place for several weeks. Possibly due in part because Big Bang’s production was halted during the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, they could have opted to show reruns to keep the momentum going but opted otherwise. As for the show that took its place, a comedy starring Jeffrey Tambor, Chris Klein and Raquel Welch to name a few, it was canceled after five episodes aired.
3. So Much Online Hatred
One of the highest rated shows on television since 2012, The Big Bang Theory regularly beats out beloved shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. While popularity doesn’t necessarily have any connection to quality or lack thereof, there are few shows in recent memory (Two and a Half Men which was also created by Chuck Lorre serving as a notable exception) that have garnered as much hate as this one. If you want to see what we are talking about, you can feel free to Google ‘The Big Bang Theory Hated’ and at the time of this writing you will be met by some incredible headlines. “Why You Should Hate The Big Bang Theory” and “Why I F–ing Hate The Big Bang Theory” are two of the first three results that come up. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we’d love to hear what you think of the show (whether you love it, hate it, or are dispassionate) on our Facebook page where a link to this article can be found.
2. BIG Salaries
When a show becomes the type of juggernaut this one has become it doesn’t take too long before the salaries of its leads becomes the topic of a lot of discussions. While previous shows of its ilk, like Friends and Seinfeld, have had stars that negotiated as a tandem (for Seinfeld, Jerry had a different deal as he served several roles other than actor, including writer, producer and creator), The Big Bang Theory’s cast have several tiers in pay. While Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki all make an amazing one million dollars per episode and more on the backend, their co-stars make significantly less. Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are paid an also impressive 750,000 per episode, while Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik each receive the far smaller figure of 100,000 per episode. Of course, everyone is getting paid a fortune in comparison to most of society and these figures are all according to reports, while contracts aren’t visible.
1. Laughter Removed Video
Remember when we were talking about how a lot of people, especially online, spout a ton of vitriol towards this show? One of the major pieces of ammunition they use against it is clips that have surfaced online where people have digitally removed the audience’s laughter from the show. Lifeless and unfunny in comparison, we doubt that even the show’s most ardent fans will enjoy the results. To be fair to the show’s staff and fans, though, if the laughter was removed from many sitcoms it would probably significantly alter how enjoyable they are.