The Big Bang Theory hit a milestone this week with the premiere of their 200th episode. In honor of the occasion, Variety published an oral history of the popular CBS sitcom, from the series’ initial pitch until now.
The oral history revealed some behind-the-scenes details of the series, including how the 2007-08 Writers Guild strike may have helped the sitcom.
By the time the Writers Guild of America strike began in November 2007, The Big Bang Theory had only been on for eight episodes. Series co-creator Bill Prady told Variety this probably helped them in the long run:
I personally have always credited the Writers Guild strike [for building the show’s audience]. CBS reran those eight episodes, I think, three times. But what they were observing was that they were holding steady in the ratings.”
Co-creator Chuck Lorre added:
When the strike ended, I was frightened that we wouldn’t even come back, that we wouldn’t get a second season. We certainly hadn’t had a chance to really land as a series yet. But we came back and kind of relentlessly and maniacally wrote and shot nine more shows in, like, two months. We so much wanted to do anything we could to get the show grounded and create some kind of body of work for the first season.”
The Big Bang Theory certainly doesn’t need any help now. The sitcom remains one of the highest-rated on network television, with the 200th episode alone scoring around 15.68 million viewers.
What do you think? Do you remember the first season of The Big Bang Theory? Do you still watch the sitcom?