The first pilot of the series was a real ‘fail’. What did the team do to reverse it and make the sitcom one of the most popular of the 21st century?
It’s been two years since The Big Bang Theory farewell to his legion of fans with the end of his twelfth season, but Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Howard (Simon Helberg), Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and company will always have a place in the history of the small screen and also in the hearts of its followers. The ‘sitcom’ has the honor of being one of the most successful of 2021 and, although with the passage of time the free-to-air television series have been taking a back seat to the productions of the platforms, the truth is that Big BangWith the recognition or not of the critics but with great affection from the public, he remained on the crest of the wave until the end.
Since the series said goodbye forever in 2019, there has been a certain nostalgia among fans. And, to this day, the actors and actresses of the cast continue to answer constant questions about their characters and their experience in The Big Bang Theory. Also, that the ‘sitcom’ was broadcast for more than 10 years, that its cast was the highest paid on television and that finally its outcome was produced at the request of one of the protagonists and not because the series had reached its limit , it is an undeniable proof that the series said goodbye in style. With or without detractors.
However, for what The Big Bang Theory became the phenomenon it was meant to be, some changes had to take place first. In fact, it is well known that, before the first official episode of the series, there was a first pilot that did not work and that the team led by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady had to give it a spin to make the ‘sitcom’ a reality.
Take note of the changes below The Big Bang Theory had to do to become successful:
1) Eliminate Katie and create Penny
Penny, the character played by Kaley Cuoco, was the only female lead for several seasons, until, at the end of the third and from the fourth, the also unforgettable Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) took center stage.
However, in the first pilot produced, neither the next door neighbor was named Penny nor was she played by Cuoco. The original character responded to the name Katie, was played by Amanda Walsh and her description was the complete opposite of Penny’s: “A woman desensitized by the street, tough and with a vulnerable interior.” Interestingly, Kaley Cuoco herself auditioned for the role, but was not cast.
Not only is it now difficult to imagine a Penny with those characteristics, but in her day she did not fit in and it was one of the first things that was changed when all the chains passed from the pilot. “It was a disaster” recognizes the co-creator Chuck Lorre in one of the bonus pieces of the edition of the series on DVD. “We had to go through that failure to understand that if there was going to be a woman in the Sheldon and Leonard ecosystem, she had to be nice to them because they were the vulnerable.”
2. The inclusion of Howard and Raj and the elimination of a more toxic first Amy
The most notable change from the pilot is the change from Katie to Penny, but another thing to keep in mind is the absence of Howard and Raj, who also liked the audience from the first moment. In her place, a character called Gilda did appear, who was played by Iris Bahr and who curiously was used as a “model” to develop Amy’s character in the future.
However, Gilda was very different from Amy. For starters, he was already a part of Leonard and Sheldon’s lives when the series began and he was very territorial with them. In that first version of Big Bang, the idea is that Gilda was part of a romantic ring with Leonard, Sheldon and Katie.
3. Sheldon stopped being a horny
Just thinking about it chills. As much as he unnerved his friends, Sheldon Cooper wowed us with his quirks and quirks, his extreme neatness, and his difficulty in socializing. Ultimately, as annoying as it was, Sheldon made himself loved, but if he had been the one that he was in the first version, the character would have changed a lot.
In addition, it would have radically changed the way he related to the characters, especially Penny, and his dynamic with Leonard would have been different as well. It is true that Howard was also a horny man and still became very popular with people, but the character of Sheldon is perfect as he is in the version of Big Bang that he could see the light.
Definitely, three changes that made the series much better, The Big Bang Theory got the green light on CBS and the rest already television history.