Theory has proven true
WHAT a difference four years make. When the cast of The Big Bang Theory first appeared at top American TV celebration PaleyFest in 2009, their sitcom wasn’t even among the top-40 rated shows in the US.
Now the first-run Big Bang episodes top the list in viewers most coveted by advertisers, those ages 18-49; and it was the second most-watched show overall in the US (behind NCIS) with more than 20 million viewers.
What made Bang so much bigger? Credit syndication. Reruns of the show have been almost impossible to avoid – introducing the series and hooking millions of viewers who missed episodes the first time around.
‘‘You’re kind of forced to watch the show now,’’ jokes actor Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz on the show.
‘‘We’re shoving it down people’s throats, and then they’re learning that they love that.’’
From co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady ( Dharma & Greg), The Big Bang Theory spins around roommates, physicists Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parson), as well as their friends, engineer Howard (Helberg) and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).
Parsons may play a genius, but he’s having a tough time getting his head around the show’s success.
‘‘There’s something impossible to fathom about viewers and numbers and things like that,’’ Parsons says. ‘‘I can barely picture 20 people in one room. If you want to say 17 or 18 million, well you’ve lost me.’’
The Big Bang cast and crew were careful to withhold any major upcoming plot developments, except for one – a letter from Howard’s long-lost father.
No other cast members or co-creator Lorre would go near discussions of the characters’ futures.
But Helberg did agree to dream up a season-20 endgame for the Big Bang bunch.
‘‘Well I think (Howard’s) pants will probably be as skinny and probably a bit tighter,’’ Helberg says.
‘‘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. ‘‘Howard and Bernadette probably will . . . God, God help them if they have children.
‘‘We know she hates them and we know that Howard, essentially, is a child. So I wish them luck.’’
Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg