Edward Wyatt of The New York Times salutes The Big Bang Theory in tomorrow's (Monday's) edition. The article discusses the ratings success, Chuck Lorre, and delves into the history of the show itself :
The cast and crew of “The Big Bang Theory” are enjoying their success all the more after surviving two near-death experiences. The show’s first pilot was rejected by CBS, but the network asked Mr. Lorre and Bill Prady, his co-creator, to retool their script and try again. The first version featured the same two male lead characters — Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical physicist, and Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter, an experimental physicist — but also included a female lead character who was “very damaged and very tough,” Mr. Prady said.
“We had a really hard time casting the role, and in retrospect it was obvious that the problem was not the actresses but the conception of the character,” he said. Focus groups that watched the original pilot were left with protective feelings for the two naïve, socially awkward scientists, and they did not like the prospect of a bitter, manipulative woman taking advantage of them.