Big Bang Theory Star Fought To Keep One Character

The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons refused to even consider cutting Mayim Bialik from the show.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

The Big Bang Theory is one of the single most popular sitcoms to ever exist, lasting for nearly 300 episodes over the course of 12 highly profitable seasons. Despite the breakout popularity of Jim Parsons’s character Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory was best known for his ensemble, which makes it especially odd that one character was not intended to stick around. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jim Parsons was prepared to fight to keep Mayim Bialik’s character Amy Farrah Fowler on the show when the writers of The Big Bang Theory considered writing her off. 

Entertainment Weekly has an excerpt from a recent oral history of the show, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series by Glamour’s Senior West Coast Editor Jessica Radloff, which illustrates how Jim Parsons was determined to keep Mayim Bialik’s character in the cast. Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced to the show in the third season as a kind of female version of Sheldon Cooper, which the writers felt was “untenable” for an extended period. However, Jim Parsons felt so strongly that the Jeopardy! host’s presence on the show was so beneficial that he was determined to intervene if it came to it. 

Happily for everyone involved and the success of The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik was kept on the show and has even cameoed on the Young Sheldon spin-off show. In addition to acting on one of the most popular nerd-oriented sitcoms ever, Mayim Bialik has become an integral part of another beloved nerd franchise, Jeopardy! Currently, she serves as a rotating co-host with grand champion Ken Jennings, as well as hosting Celebrity Jeopardy! and other spin-offs of the venerable quiz show.

The Big Bang Theory was heavily centered around Jim Parsons’s Sheldon Cooper as a breakout character, but also frequently delved into the on-again-off-again romance between Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco). Mirroring the couple’s on-screen romance, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco eventually became a real-life couple for a time period, which Cuoco has revealed started as an on-set crush that Galecki was initially completely unaware of. 

After The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco has seen her star continue to rise. She starred in two seasons of the popular HBO thriller comedy The Flight Attendant alongside Rosie Perez and Zosia Mamet; both Cuoco and Perez were eventually nominated for Primetime Emmys for their roles on the show. Most recently, The Big Bang Theory actress starred in the Peacock streaming original movie Meet Cute with Saturday Night Live alumnus Pete Davidson. 

While The Big Bang Theory often struggled to receive critical praise to go along with its massive viewership, it is unquestionably one of the major network sitcoms of the last several decades. It is interesting to think what direction the show might have gone without a character that would turn out to be one of the most influential in terms of emotional growth, but fortunately, the writing room was smart enough to see what they had in Mayim Bialik.