The Big Bang Theory has only been on CBS for four years, but it's the most popular comedy on television. The geeky gang stopped by PaleyFest this week to discuss the show's success, their best episodes, and the origins of "Soft Kitty."
The Big Bang Theory's almost nightly syndication on TBS has increased ratings even more for new episodes on CBS; it's the #1 comedy on TV and the #2 show, after NCIS. Last week's new episode scored over 20 million viewers. This shouldn't be a surprised-it comes from super producer Chuck Lorre, the mind behind Two and a Half Men which was (and still is) a similar ratings juggernaut.
It stars Johnny Galecki (of Roseanne fame) and Jim Parsons as two super-smart physicists who live across the hall from an aspiring actress-cum-waitress, Penny, played by Kaley Cuoco. The show's best moments come from breakout star Parsons, whose Sheldon Cooper is an insufferable but somehow loveable genius. Their friends and coworkers Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) round out the crew of nerds.
"There's something impossible to fathom about viewers and numbers and things like that," Parsons said of The Big Bang Theory's success. "I can barely picture 20 people in one room. If you want to say 17 or 18 million, well you've lost me."
In the past four years, the characters on The Big Bang Theory have gone through relationships and career ups and downs; audiences have loved watching them grow. Raj, who was once unable to speak in the presence of females without the aid of alcohol, now has a chance at love with Lucy.
"It's lovely to see him get to explore that side to himself, which has been amiss for so long," Nayyar said at the PaleyFest Big Bang Theory panel. "We can joke and laugh, but ultimately for him he really wants this. It's fun to see him vulnerable and to drop false sense of bravado. I don't know if he'll succeed, but it's really sweet."
The Big Bang Theory cast also revealed that executive producer Bill Prady is behind Sheldon's childish feel-better song, "Soft Kitty." "It's from my daughter's preschool in Sherman Oaks. It was from Australia, and one of the teachers heard it there," Prady said.
Cuoco, Galecki, Parsons, Helberg, and Nayyar were all pretty tight-lipped about what the future may hold for their characters. Hedberg does have a vision for season 20, though. "Well I think [Howard's] pants will probably be as skinny and probably a bit tighter. I think that Sheldon will probably still be sitting in his spot. It may be in a different apartment. I think he'll sit in that spot until he's in a home," he joked.
Check out hilarious season 4 bloopers and of course, the best of Sheldon Cooper.