Can you imagine “The Big Bang Theory” without Sheldon? Probably not, given the gigantic success the character has had independently of the show, with the spinoff series of “Young Sheldon” still on-air.
Now can you imagine the long-running comedy without Sheldon’s romantic interest-turned-wife Amy in Mayim Bialik? Jim Parsons, who portrayed Sheldon, said he was not willing to imagine a scenario where Bialik’s character was written off the program.
Originally appearing in one episode, Bialik’s character Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced as a romantic interest for Sheldon. “There was some negative attention when I joined the cast because some people held Sheldon very near and dear to them and didn’t want him to change or become a cheesy boyfriend,” Bialik shared in the new book “The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series,” per Entertainment Weekly.
Parsons’ recalls thinking of Bialik’s addition to the show in the season three finale, “‘I will not let this character go without a fight.’ That was notable for me, only in that I almost never disagreed with the writers.”
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He continued, “At some point I felt a certain way about working with Mayim that I was like, if for whatever reason we seemed to be weaning her off of this show as a character, I would go and talk to them.”
It never reached that point, as Bialik was brought back the following season. “After my episode in the season three finale, I literally thought my character might never come back. I had been out of the industry for so long…it really could have gone either way,” she remembered.
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“The week that I was offered a regular contract, I had told my manager, ‘I think this is my last episode; I think they’re done with me and have done all they want to do with my character.’ And that made me really sad. I told my manager, and she called me back later that day and said, ‘You’re not going to believe what call I just got. They’d like to offer you a full position as a regular!'”
The show went on to span 12 seasons, making it the longest-running multi-camera comedy ever with 279 episodes.
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Parsons believes the show was bolstered by additional female characters, including Bialik as Amy and Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. “I said this years ago, but I believe it even more now that one of the smartest things that the writers’ room ever did was introduce Bernadette and Amy at a point where, as far as interests and storylines go, we did not need them yet. The writers did not let the well run dry before they were like, Oh God, should we adopt a kid? Should we bring in a monkey? You know what I mean? They plugged these people in to see what was going to work and how it would work, and I thought it was genius.”
The book “The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series” has interviews with cast members and a foreword by the show’s director, Chuck Lorre.