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The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created and executively produced by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. It premiered on CBS September 24, 2007.

Set in Pasadena, Californiamarker, the show concerns two male Caltechmarker prodigies in their twenties, one an experimental physicist (Leonard) and the other a theoretical physicist (Sheldon), who live across the hall from an attractive blonde waitress with show-biz aspirations (Penny). Leonard and Sheldon's geekiness and intellect are contrasted with Penny's social skills and common sense for comedic effect. Two equally geeky friends of theirs, Howard and Rajesh, are also main characters.

The show is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions. In March 2009 it was reported that The Big Bang Theory had been renewed for a third and fourth season by CBS. In August 2009, the sitcom won the best comedy series TCA award and Jim Parsons won the award for individual achievement in comedy.When the third season premiered on September 21, 2009, it ranked as CBS's highest-rated show of that evening in the adults 18-49 demographic (4.6/10), along with a then series-high 12.83 million viewers.The Big Bang Theory airs on Mondays at 9:30 EST following another Chuck Lorre-produced show Two and a Half Men.

Main cast

  • Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D. - Originally from East Texas, he was a child prodigy, starting college at the age of 11, right after completing the 5th grade. As a theoretical physicist, he possesses a master's degree, two Ph.D.s, and an IQ of 187. He exhibits a strict adherence to routine; a lack of understanding of irony, sarcasm and humor; and a complete lack of humility. These characteristics are the main sources of his character's humor and the center of a number of episodes. Sheldon shares an apartment with Leonard Hofstadter. According to his twin sister, Sheldon would send home his imaginary friends at the end of the day, when they were kids. Sheldon's reply: "they were not friends, they were imaginary colleagues."

  • Kaley Cuoco as Penny - The attractive, blonde neighbor who lives across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard's apartment. She has aspirations of a career in show business, and has been to casting calls and auditions, but has not been successful thus far. To pay the bills, she works as a waitress for a Cheesecake Factory restaurant.

  • Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz, M.Eng. - He works as an engineer and lives with his mother; they are Jewish. Unlike Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj, Howard lacks a Ph.D. He defends this by pointing out that he has a master's degree in Engineering from MITmarker and the apparatus he designs is actually built and launched into space, unlike the purely abstract work of his friends. He provides outrageous pick-up lines and fancies himself a ladies man with suitably unimpressed reactions from Penny; however, he has shown some success with other women.

  • Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali, Ph.D. - Rajesh, who originally comes from New Delhi, India, works as a Particle Astrophysicist at CalTech. He is normally very shy to the point of near-muteness in front of females; because the show's scenes often involve Penny, his paucity of dialogue has led to him occasionally being overlooked by the rest of the cast. Only alcohol and experimental pharmaceuticals have provided temporary cures to his chronic shyness. However, on one occasion he was able to say "Good story" (in reference to a Kryptonian villain) to Penny without the aid of either of these. His parents, introduced as Dr. and Mrs V.M Koothrappali, are seen via webcam; his father is a gynaecologist and drives a Bentley, facts that are often pointed out to him when he claims that he was raised in poverty in Indiamarker.

  • Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle, Ph.D. (recurring since season 1) – She is an experimental physicist who occasionally sleeps with both Howard and Leonard during the show's airing. She does not get on well with Sheldon Cooper and frequently mocks him. She was promoted to main cast during the second season, but demoted again once the writers realized they could not produce quality material for her for every episode.


Season Episodes Original Airing
1 17 September 24, 2007 - May 19, 2008
2 23 September 22, 2008 - May 11, 2009
3 23 September 21, 2009 - May 2010

Production history

The show's initial pilot, developed for the 2006–07 television season, was substantially different from its current form. Only Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki were in the cast, and their across-the-hall neighbor (now played by Kaley Cuoco) was a much meaner character. The show was not picked up, but the creators were given an opportunity to revise the show, bringing in the remaining leading cast and retooling the show to its current format.

The second pilot of The Big Bang Theory was directed by James Burrows, who did not continue with the show. This reworked pilot led to a 13-episode order by CBS on May 14, 2007. Prior to its airing on CBS, the pilot episode was distributed on iTunes free of charge. The show premiered September 24, 2007, and was picked-up for a full 22-episode season on October 19, 2007.

Production on the show was halted on November 6, 2007 due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, returning on March 17, 2008 in an earlier time slot and with nine new episodes. After the strike's end, the show was picked up for a second season airing in the 2008-2009 season, premiering in the same time slot on September 22, 2008. With increasing ratings, the show received a two-year renewal through the 2010–11 season.

David Saltzberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angelesmarker, checks scripts and provides dialogue, math equations, and diagrams used as props. According to executive producer/co-creator Bill Prady, "We're working on giving Sheldon an actual problem that he's going to be working on throughout the [first] season so there's actual progress to the boards ... We worked hard to get all the science right."

Opening theme

Barenaked Ladies wrote and recorded the theme song, which describes developments the universe has undergone since the dawn of time. On October 9, 2007, a full-length (1 minute and 45 seconds) version of the song was released. This theme was considered by TV critic Samantha Holloway to be one of the five most effective theme tunes on TV.

DVD releases

DVD Name Release dates Ep # Additional Information
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete First Season September 2, 2008 January 12, 2009 June 3, 2009 17 The three disc box set includes all 17 episodes. The only extra feature is an 18 minute short entitled Quantum Mechanics of The Big Bang Theory: Series Cast and Creators on Why It’s Cool to Be a Geek. Running Time: 374 minutes.
The Complete Second Season September 15, 2009 October 19, 2009 TBA 23 The four disc box set includes all 24 episodes. The Special Features include a Gag Reel, Physicist to the Stars: Real-Life Physicist/UCLA professor David Saltzberg's consulting relationship to the Show, and Testing the Infinite Hilarity Hypothesis in relation to the Big Bang Theory: Season 2's Unique Characters and Characteristics.


U.S. standard ratings

In the following summary, "rating" is the percentage of all households with televisions that tuned to the show, and "share" is the percentage of all televisions in use at that time that are tuned in. "18-49" is the percentage of all adults aged 18–49 tuned into the show. "Viewers" is the number of viewers, in millions, watching at the time. "Rank" is how well the show did compared to other TV shows aired that week.

Seasonal ratings

Seasonal ratings based on average total viewers per episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS:

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers

(in millions)
1 Monday 8:30 P.M. (September 24 – November 12, 2007)

Monday 8:00 P.M.
(March 17 – May 19, 2008)
September 24, 2007 May 19, 2008 2007–2008 #59 8.31
2 Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 22, 2008 – May 11, 2009)Monday 9:30 P.M. (February 9, 2009) September 22, 2008 May 11, 2009 2008–2009 #42 10.01
3 Monday 9:30 P.M. September 21, 2009 May 2010 2009–2010 #17 14.18

UK distribution and ratings

The show made its UK debut on Channel 4 on February 14, 2008 bringing in an average audience of 1.0 million viewers. The second episode, shown the following week, also received 1.0 million. For the third episode an average of 1.1 million tuned in. The show is also shown as a 'first-look' on Channel 4's digital offshoot E4 the preceding evening, and brings in 400,000 viewers on average. The 5th episode received 880,000 viewers. After the first 5 episodes, the average number of viewers continues to hover around the 1 million mark. Episode 13 was watched by 1.3 million viewers and was the most watched episode.

In December 2008, Virgin Media made the first nine episodes of the first season available to watch on its TV Choice On Demand service, and the rest of Season 1 was made available in January 2009.

18 episodes of season 2 are now also available on Virgin Media TV Choice On Demand Service.


Awards and nominations

Year Result Category Award Show Recipient(s)
2009 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 61st Primetime Emmy Awards Jim Parsons
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Christine Baranski
Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy TCA Awards
Individual Achievement in Comedy Jim Parsons

International broadcast

Country / Region Network(s) Aired Notes
Digi+ April 19, 2009 — present
Warner Channel November 2007 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Nine Network Season 1: Late 2007 — 2008
Season 2: Late 2008 — October 26, 2009
Season 3: November 2, 2009

New episodes
GO! Season 1: August 9, 2009 — present
Season 2: Mid-September 2009
Double episode repeats
Zee Café
La Une August 31, 2008 — present
Warner Channel November 2007 — present
Warner Channel November 2007 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used except for a version used by TAM Transportes Aéreos on planes.
Nova Television November 5, 2008 — present


2007–08, 2009–present

Warner Channel November 2007 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Warner Channel November 2007 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Warner Channel

November 2007 — present

August 2009 — present
The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.

The dialogue is dubbed.
LTV November 2008 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Prima COOL April 7, 2009 — present Aired as 'Teorie velkého třesku'
6'eren January 2009 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Warner Channel
Warner Channel
Warner Channel November 2007 — present
Mai TV
Sub September 8, 2008 — present Aired as Rillit Huurussa (Misty Eyeglasses)
TPS Star

NRJ 12
October 18, 2008 — present

October 5, 2009— present
Star Channel September , 2009 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
ProSieben July 11, 2009 — present
Warner Channel
Warner Channel
Stöð 2 August 19, 2008 — present
Zee Café
RTÉ Two July 11, 2008 — present
yes stars Comedy July 2008 — present
Steel January 19, 2008 — present The show received a lot of criticism due to the poor quality of dubbing, which allegedly "dumbed down" most of the nerdy-geeky jokes. To fix this, since episode 9 of season one, the dubbing has been changed to a significantly better quality, characterized by a more faithful translation.
Super! drama TV November 7, 2009 — present
ntv7, metrovision
Warner Channel November 2008 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Veronica March 2, 2009 — present
TV2 September 17, 2008 — present Season 2 finale aired on November 2, 2009
Warner Channel
Super Comedy
Warner Channel The dialogue is not dubbed but Spanish captions are used.
Warner Channel
Warner Channel November 2007 — present
Jack TV
TVN Siedem November 20, 2008 — present Aired as 'Teoria wielkiego podrywu'
SET, RTP2 July 14, 2008 — present
Kanal 5
Kanal A Season 1: February 23, 2009 — March 20, 2009

Antena 3

> July 18, 2009 — present
Kanal 5 The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
True Series May 26, 2008 — present
TV6 2008 — present
CNBC-e September 9, 2008 — present The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.
Inter channel
Channel 4, E4
Warner Channel
Warner Channel The dialogue is not dubbed but captions are used.


  1. The Big Bang Theory Cast & Details — Retrieved February 14, 2009.

External links

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