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The Big Bang Theory
|Created by||Chuck Lorre|
|Directed by||Mark Cendrowski|
|Opening theme||"Big Bang Theory Theme"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||279 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Chuck Lorre|
|Producer(s)||Faye Oshima Belyeu|
|Running time||18–22 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||September 24, 2007 –|
May 16, 2019
|Related shows||Young Sheldon|
The show starts by being centred on two male Caltech scientists who share an apartment in Pasadena, California. They are in their twenties and are both single for the first two seasons. One is an experimental physicist from New Jersey (Leonard Hofstadter). The other is a theoretical physicist from Texas (Sheldon Cooper). Sheldon has Asperger syndrome and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and has a very low sex drive. They live across the hall from an attractive, bottle-blonde waitress from Nebraska (Penny). She is single and lives on her own for most of the show's run. She tried to become an actress, but only got a role in a television advertisement and a role in a B-movie called Serial Apeist as well as its sequel.
Leonard and Sheldon's geekiness and intellect are contrasted with Penny's social skills, popularity and lively sex life for comedic effect. Two equally geeky, single friends of Sheldon and Leonard's, Jewish Howard and Indian Rajesh, are also main characters. Howard lived with his mother during the first few seasons. Raj lives on his own. The show is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions. In March 2014, it was announced that The Big Bang Theory would continue for at least three more seasons on CBS.
The show began as a sitcom about four geeky, male scientists and their fun-loving, under-educated, socially successful waitress neighbour. Much of the humor revolved around the differences between scientists and the rest of the characters, especially Penny. From season 3 onwards, the show changed greatly into being a show about couples and families. Bernadette Rostenkowski was brought in during season 3 and started a relationship with Howard. The couple later married and had a daughter. Amy Farrah-Fowler was also brought in during season 3 and started a relationship with Sheldon; they later got engaged. Leonard and Penny became a couple and married. The show frequently shuffles between romantic comedy and relationship drama.
Eleven seasons have been shown. The show's twelfth season was its last.
- Johnny Galecki as Leonard Leakey Hofstadter, Ph.D.
- Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, Ph.D.
- Kaley Cuoco as Penny
- Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz, M.Eng.
- Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali, Ph.D.
- Kevin Sussman as Stuart
- John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke
- Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski
- Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah-Fowler
- Deborah "Debbie" Wolowitz (voiced by Carol Ann Susi (seasons 1-8 (2007-2014)))
- Leslie Winkle (played by Sara Gilbert (seasons 1 (2007-2008) and 3 (2009-2010)))
|Seasons||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release date||Nielsen ratings|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|| U.S. viewers
|Rank|| 18–49 rating/share|
|1||17||September 24, 2007||May 19, 2008||September 2, 2008||January 12, 2009||April 3, 2009||8.31||59||3.3/9 (TBA)|
|2||23||September 22, 2008||May 11, 2009||September 15, 2009||October 19, 2009||March 3, 2010||10.00||42||3.8/10 (TBA)|
|3||23||September 21, 2009||May 24, 2010||September 14, 2010||September 27, 2010||October 13, 2010||14.12||12||5.3/13 (5)|
|4||24||September 23, 2010||May 19, 2011||September 13, 2011||September 26, 2011||October 5, 2011||13.14||13||4.4/13 (7)|
|5||24||September 22, 2011||May 10, 2012||September 11, 2012||September 3, 2012||October 3, 2012||15.82||8||5.5/16 (5)|
The show was first developed for the 2006-2007 television season. At that time, it was very different from the show that was later broadcast. Only Jim Parsons & Johnny Galecki were part of the original pilot. The character now played by Kaley Cuoco was much meaner to the geeks. CBS did not pick the show up, but gave Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre a second chance. They brought in Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar. They retooled the show.
The second pilot of The Big Bang Theory was directed by award-winning television directing veteran James Burrows. He decided not to stay with the show. This reworked pilot led to a 13-episode order by CBS on May 14, 2007. Before its airing on CBS, the pilot episode was distributed on iTunes free of charge. The show premiered September 24, 2007. It was picked up for a full 22-episode season order on October 19, 2007.
Production on the show was halted on November 6, 2007 by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. When the strike ended, the show was picked up for a second season for the 2008-2009 television season.
The show returned on March 17, 2008 . It had an earlier time slot and nine new episodes. The second season premiered, in the same slot, on September 22, 2008. During that season, the show's ratings grew. That led to a two-year renewal through the 2010-11 season.
David Saltzberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, checks scripts and provides dialogue, math equations and diagrams used as props. He says he is more consultant than contributor. Executive producer/co-creator Bill Prady said, "In fact, 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."
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 second) version of the song was released.
|DVD Name||Release dates||Ep #||Additional Information|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Complete First Season||September 2, 2008||January 12, 2009||April 3, 2009||17||The 3-disc box set has all the 17 episodes. The one 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: 355 minutes.|
|The Complete Second Season||September 15, 2009||October 19, 2009||March 3, 2010||23||The 4-disc box set has all the 23 episodes. 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." Running Time: 481 minutes.|
|The Complete Third Season||September 14, 2010||September 27, 2010||October 13, 2010 ||23||The 3-disc box set has all the 23 episodes. Special features include a set tour with Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, an inside look on the third season and a gag reel. This is the first time a season of the show was released on Blu-ray Disc in a 2-Disc Set, with the DVD release. Running Time: 472 minutes.|
|The Complete Fourth Season||September 13, 2011||September 26, 2011||October 5, 2011||24||The 3-disc box set has all the 24 episodes. Special features include the story of the show's theme song with Barenaked Ladies, cast interviews with each other and a gag reel. Running time: 529 minutes. Also available on Blu-ray as a 2-disc set, with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the recording of "The Wildebeest Implementation."|
|The Complete Fifth Season||September 11, 2012||September 3, 2012||October 1, 2012||24||The 3-disc box set has all the 24 episodes. Special features include a featurette on the show's 100th episode, interviews and a gag reel. Running time: 552 minutes. Also available on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with UltraViolet download.|
|The Complete Sixth Season||September 10, 2013||September 2, 2013||24|
- Despite the third and fourth seasons receiving Blu-ray releases with their DVD releases, the first and second seasons were only available on DVD when they were released. Warner Bros. has then released the first two seasons on Blu-ray/DVD combo packs with UltraViolet downloads on July 10, 2012. All of the episodes from seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-ray received newly edited surround-sound audio, with the first season including a never-before-seen gag reel, which was not included during the initial first season DVD release.
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 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|
|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)||September 22, 2008||May 18, 2009||2008–2009||#42||10.00|
|3||Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 21, 2009 – May 24, 2010)||September 21, 2009||May 24, 2010||2009–2010||#12||14.12|
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.
The show is also broadcast in:
- Albania — Digi+ (since April 19, 2009)
- Argentina — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- Australia — Nine Network (Originally broadcast Early 2008 during the rating season, however due to low viewership the show was put on hiatus to be broadcast in the off season starting of November 19, 2008)
- Belgium — La Une (since August 31, 2008)
- Bolivia — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- Brazil — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- Bulgaria - Nova Television (since November 5, 2008)
- Canada — CTV (2008–present), A (2007–2008)
- Peru — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- Chile — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- El Salvador — Warner Channel (since November, 2007)
- Colombia — Warner Channel
- Costa Rica — Warner Channel
- Cyprus - LTV
- Czech Republic — Prima COOL (since April 7, 2009)
- Denmark — 6'eren (Since January, 2009)
- Dominican Republic — Warner Channel
- Ecuador — Warner Channel
- Fiji - Mai TV
- Finland — Sub (since September 8, 2008)
- France — TPS Star (since October 18, 2008)
- Germany — ProSieben (since 2009)
- Guatemala — Warner Channel
- Honduras — Canal 5
- Hong Kong — ATV World (2011)
- Iceland — Stöð 2 (since August 19, 2008)
- India — Zee Cafe, Star World India
- Ireland — RTÉ Two (since July 11, 2008)
- Israel — yes stars Comedy (since July, 2008)
- Italy — Steel (since January 19, 2008). The show received a lot of criticism due to the poor quality of dubbing, which allegedly "dumbed down" most of the nerdy-geeky jokes.
- Latin America — Warner Channel
- Malaysia — ntv7
- Mexico — Warner Channel
- Netherlands — Veronica (since March 2, 2009)
- New Zealand — TV2 (since September 17, 2008)
- Norway — TVNorge
- Pakistan — Zee Cafe
- Panama — Warner Channel
- Paraguay — Warner Channel
- Peru — Warner Channel
- Philippines — Jack TV C/S 9
- Poland — TVN Siedem (since November 20, 2008) as 'Teoria wielkiego wybuchu' poprawione przez Dr.Lesiu
- Portugal — SET and RTP2 (since July 14, 2008)
- Russia — Paramount Comedy Russia
- Slovenia — Kanal A (since February 23, 2009) as Veliki pokovci (The Big Bangers)
- South Africa — M-Net
- Spain — Antena.neox (since June 12, 2008)
- Sweden — Kanal 5
- Republic of Macedonia — Kanal 5
- Thailand — True Series (since May 26, 2008)
- Trinidad and Tobago — TV6 (since 2008)
- Turkey — CNBC-e (since September 9, 2008)
- Ukraine - Inter channel
- United Kingdom — Channel 4, E4
- Uruguay — Warner Channel
- Venezuela — Warner Channel
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