The Big Bang Theory

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Television series
German title The Big Bang Theory
Original title The Big Bang Theory
TBBT logo.svg
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 2007-2019
Warner Bros. Television ,
Chuck Lorre Productions
length approx. 22 minutes
Episodes 279 in 12 seasons ( List )
genre Sitcom
Theme music Big Bang Theory Theme (The History of Everything) - Barenaked Ladies
idea Chuck Lorre , Bill Prady
First broadcast September 24, 2007 (USA) on CBS
first broadcast
July 11, 2009 on ProSieben

The Big Bang Theory (English for "The Big Bang Theory ") is an American sitcom by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady , which was broadcast from September 24, 2007 to May 16, 2019 on the US television station CBS . The series was produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions.

In March 2017, the series was extended by a twelfth season, which premiered on September 24, 2018 on CBS. With this 24-part season, the series ended.

From 2014 to 2016, The Big Bang Theory was the most watched television series in the advertising-relevant target group in Germany. With 279 episodes, it is considered the sitcom with the most episodes ever - a record that the series Cheers (275 episodes) held for decades .


The series is about the highly intelligent young physicists Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper , who have a doctorate , but who are somewhat clumsy in their social interaction , whose flat share in Pasadena is opposite the apartment of the attractive waitress Penny , who dreams of a career as an actress . The geeky nature of the two scientists is contrasted by the naivety , but also the social skills and common sense of the neighbor, an initially clichéd blonde . After some difficulties, she and Leonard become a couple and later marry. Other main characters are the Jewish aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz , who still lives with his mother and is desperately trying to be a womanizer , and the Indian astrophysicist Rajesh 'Raj' Koothrappali , who is unable to speak in the presence of women .

The four friends share a great passion for comics , science fiction (especially Star Trek ), computer and video games , pen & paper role-playing games , trading card games , paintball and attending various conventions in appropriate costumes . They regularly get supplies for these interests from Stuart Bloom's comic book store . They all work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena and deal intensively with the natural sciences , technology and research , both professionally and privately .

In the further course of the series, Bernadette Rostenkowski , microbiologist and Howard's future wife, and Amy Farrah Fowler , neurobiologist and Sheldon's future wife, appear, while the initially peculiar social behavior of the scientists slowly normalizes and aligns with the norms of US society by develop professionally, in family and social terms, experience and accept changes in their lives, make courageous decisions, learn from others and from mistakes and setbacks, mature in character, deepen their friendships with one another, have relationships with women, get married (except Raj) and ( in the case of Howard) become parents.


Dr. Leonard Leakey Hofstadter

Sheldon and Leonard's apartment floor plan

Leonard comes from New Jersey , is gifted and grew up with two equally gifted siblings. His father is an anthropologist , his mother is a psychoanalyst and neurologist . His parents split up over the course of the series. Leonard graduated from Princeton University at the age of 24 with a Ph.D. from. He works as an experimental physicist at Caltech . He lives from seasons 1 to 9 in an apartment with Sheldon and is close friends with Sheldon despite initial and recurring difficulties. He shares his strong interest in comics, science fiction and his passion for collecting action figures and similar fan articles with his friends . He has also played the cello since childhood , which he never wanted to learn of his own free will. Leonard suffers from asthma and lactose intolerance , which is often discussed in the course of the series.

At the beginning of the series, he is very shy and awkward towards women. Thanks to Penny, however, he is becoming more confident about women. Leonard is looking for a steady relationship with a woman and in the course of the series initially has brief relationships with the physicist Leslie Winkle, the doctor Stephanie Barnett and in the third season also with Penny. After Penny breaks up with him towards the end of the third season, he begins a relationship with Raj's sister Priya, a successful lawyer, in the fourth season. However, Priya is returning to India; after she confessed to cheating on Leonard, he breaks up with her in season five. He now regularly has new women acquaintances, but deep down he only wants Penny, who soon describes her separation from Leonard as her biggest mistake.

In the fifth season he gets back together with Penny. They get engaged in the seventh season and get married in the ninth season. In season ten, Penny moves in with Leonard and Amy takes over her former apartment, to which Sheldon is moving. In the last episode of the series, it is learned that Penny is expecting a child from Leonard.

Dr. Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper

A robot that Sheldon built in order not to have to leave the apartment in the future

Sheldon is a theoretical physicist . Like Leonard, he is gifted and tried to build complex devices such as an X-ray machine and a nuclear reactor as a child . His IQ is 187. He also has an eidetic memory . In contrast to Leonard, who comes from an academic family, Sheldon is the only scientist in his family. He grew up in Galveston, Texas and was brought up conservative and Christian, but is not religious himself. His mother Mary, a born again Christian , also takes care of her adult son and has made several appearances on the series. His father George was an alcoholic and has passed away. Leonard envies Sheldon this environment, as his own mother pays him little attention and is very similar to Sheldon in her cool manner.

While the series never mentions Sheldon having an autism disorder , his actor, Jim Parsons, has mentioned several times in interviews that the character has some Asperger- like traits. Sheldon's twin sister Missy is not similar in behavior or appearance. He also has an older brother, George Jr., who is only discussed later in the series. Sheldon has a close relationship with his grandmother, whom he calls "Meemaw". He is called "Moonpie" by his grandmother. He misses his late grandfather very much because he was the only one in the family who encouraged his scientific inclinations. When Sheldon was sick, his mother sang for him with Soft Kitty, warm Kitty a modification of an American nursery rhyme. On the show, Sheldon repeatedly asks Penny to sing it to him when he's sick. In the German synchronization, a reworking of the cat dance song by Fredrik Vahle is used for this.

At school, Sheldon skipped several classes, graduating summa cum laude from college at the University of Texas at Austin at the age of 14 . At the age of 15 he was a visiting professor at Heidelberg University ; at the age of 16, he received his Ph.D. on a thesis on twistor theory. It took him four years to complete his second dissertation to obtain the Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), a degree awarded by several natural science faculties in the USA. After completing his scientific training, Sheldon moved to Pasadena and has worked at Caltech ever since . At the beginning of the first season of the television series, he has been working there for three and a half years.

Sheldon is initially dismissive in dealing with other people and only learns to understand jokes and to recognize sarcasm or to use it himself in the course of the series . He often comes across as arrogant and arrogant and feels intellectually superior to most people. Like Leonard, Sheldon has a keen interest in video games and science fiction and is a big fan of the comic series The Flash and Green Lantern , which is why he often wears T-shirts with corresponding motifs. He also admires Mr. Spock and is a train fanatic, he loves trains and model railways . His character in the online role-playing game Age of Conan is called "Sheldor, the Conqueror". Sheldon is a pedant and obsessively adheres to habits, schemes and self-made rules. He pays little attention to the needs of others, but can become very demanding when it comes to his own needs. Throughout the entire series, Sheldon regularly teases Howard, although he sees him as a friend, with the fact that, unlike the others, he does not have a doctorate . He regularly pokes fun at Howard's job as an engineer , which he does not consider to be on a par with other scientists. Only in the series finale does Sheldon pay tribute to Howard by honestly and respectfully calling him “ astronaut Howard Wolowitz”.

Sheldon is obsessively neat and intermittently performs emergency drills around his home. He hates it when strangers enter his world. At first he endures even his friends only because they are of use to him. Only when Sheldon and Leonard's apartment is robbed does he try to get in touch with his fellow human beings. Despite many recurring arguments and the great contrast, Sheldon developed a good friendship, especially with Penny; the two are characterized by a kind of close "brother-sister" relationship. At the end of the series, he calls Penny and Leonard "my two dearest friends in the world". During the time he lives with Leonard, there is also a very extensive flat share contract ("roommate agreement") that Sheldon concluded with Leonard and which he often refers to when his very detailed rules are violated. Sheldon is also characterized by his inability to lie. If he does it anyway, he shows unusual behavior, for example excessive nervousness. Another peculiarity is his exclamation “Bazinga!” (Freely translated: “Fell for it!”), With which he wants to show that he has just made a joke.

During the course of the fourth season, Sheldon developed a relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler, whom he met through a dating website on which Raj and Howard signed him up without his knowledge. In the fifth season, the two become a couple and begin an initially platonic relationship . Amy, herself a highly intelligent neurobiologist , is also showing increasing sexual interest in Sheldon. After Amy briefly breaks up with him, they get back together, and Sheldon has sex for the first time. When Penny moved in with Leonard, Sheldon and Amy took over their former apartment. Sheldon proposes marriage to Amy at the beginning of season 11, and they get engaged. At the end of the eleventh season, the two get married; at the end of the series they receive the Nobel Prize together. At the award ceremony, Sheldon surprises with the fact that he does not present his actually prepared, page-long version of an acceptance speech that he has prepared meticulously and that is only about himself. Instead, he takes the opportunity to thank his family, his wife Amy and, for Sheldon, his "other family" - his friends Raj, Bernadette, Howard, Penny and Leonard - in a very unusual, emotional, empathic and selfless manner . He apologizes for not always being the friend they deserve and thanks his friends for “encouraging, supporting, inspiring, and tolerating” him, telling them that he “made them his way “Love.

Penny Hofstadter

The set of Sheldon's and Leonard's living rooms

Little is known about Penny's family background; her maiden name remains anonymous. It is known that she grew up on a farm near Omaha , Nebraska . She has a sister and a brother who makes and sells drugs. The television series begins with Penny's move into Leonard and Sheldon's neighboring apartment.

She dreams of a career as an actress, but because of a lack of engagement, she works as a waitress in a branch of the restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory . Unlike her two physicist neighbors, she has neither a college degree nor an academic education. The scientific discourse and the hobbies of her neighbors and their friends, which are unusual for Penny, are alien to her and overwhelming her. Still, she makes friends with everyone and spends time with them regularly. As the series progresses, she manages to come to terms with some of these initially strange activities. In addition to her future husband Leonard, Penny developed a close friendship with Sheldon, but also with Bernadette and Amy.

Penny is permanently broke and is always in debt. She knows she is very attractive and how to manipulate men. She quickly realizes that Leonard would like a relationship with her, but he doesn't fit into her prey scheme, which prefers tall, strong men with at best a moderate mind. Penny pokes her way through Sheldon and Leonard, writes a free dinner there every evening, uses their WiFi to get on the Internet, but also helps them both with advice from the real world. To Leonard's chagrin, the three of them have a relationship like that between siblings. Penny storms into the apartment of the two in her underwear to "borrow" coffee, even when Leonard has a friend over to visit.

In contrast to the other main characters in the series, Penny has a high level of everyday social skills and has no difficulty in socializing. At the beginning of the series , she frequently changes her sex partners . Although Leonard immediately takes a liking to Penny, the two don't get together until the beginning of the third season. The relationship is unstable, however, as Penny cannot keep up with Leonard intellectually and therefore feels insecure, Leonard in turn knows that he does not physically correspond to Penny's “loot scheme”. Penny separates from Leonard at the end of the third season. After a short time, she regrets it deeply, which is why they come together again in the fifth season.

Penny later realizes that Leonard and his friends have helped her develop linguistically and intellectually and that she now has “useless Star Wars and Star Trek knowledge”. Her first attempts to catch up on her college degree still fail, but when she gets the chance to become a pharmaceutical representative, she works her way through the training materials more determined than ever in her life, gets the job and is soon one of the best pharmaceutical representatives in the company.

At the beginning of the ninth season, Penny and Leonard get married in Las Vegas ; she takes his family name. In the tenth season, she leaves Sheldon and Amy their apartment and moves in with Leonard. At the end of the series, she is expecting a child from Leonard and is ultimately very happy about it, although she had long resisted Leonard's desire to have children.

Howard Joel Wolowitz

Howard is 26 years old at the time of season one and lives in Altadena with his obese mother, Debbie, who is never seen . He cares for her, but is treated like a toddler by her. Communication between the two is typical: they communicate with each other by shouting loudly, even through closed doors. Debbie dies in season eight. His father had left the family when Howard was eleven years old; he has no contact with him, but later gets to know his half-brother.

Howard is short and skinny and dresses in unusual ways: he wears tight-fitting trousers and turtlenecks, brightly colored, sometimes garish colors and nerd belt buckles, for example with the Pac-Man or Batman logo. He suffers from various allergies, most notably one to peanuts. He is a Jew and although he observes the Jewish holidays and the Sabbath , he does not live kosher .

He works as a space engineer in the Department of Applied Physics at Caltech . In contrast to Leonard, Sheldon and Raj, he did not have a doctorate, but graduated from MIT as a Master of Engineering (incorrectly translated as Magister in the German dubbing of the first two seasons ); That's why he is often raised by Sheldon and others. In the final episode of the fifth season, Howard flies to the International Space Station . He repeatedly makes use of the institute's technical possibilities. For example, he uses military reconnaissance drones to locate the home of the candidates for the television show America's Next Top Model , is responsible for the defect in the ISS toilet and has problems moving the Mars rover after it got stuck in a ditch when it was found wants to impress a woman.

Howard considers himself a heartthrob and tries mostly unsuccessfully to get to know women with clumsy pick-ups. In the first episode he is multilingual; in the fifth season he shows that he has mastered American sign language . In the third season he goes out with Bernadette; After some teething problems, the two become a couple in the fourth season and get engaged. At the end of the fifth season they get married, in the tenth they become parents to a daughter they call Halley and in the eleventh season they become the parents of a son named Neil Michael. In their marriage, Howard rarely takes care of the household and prefers to play video games, which often annoys Bernadette.

Dr. Rajesh "Raj" Ramayan Koothrappali

Sheldon and Raj's office

Raj is a PhD Indian astrophysicist from New Delhi and Howard's best friend. He graduated from Cambridge University . Like Leonard, Sheldon and Howard, he works in the physics department at Caltech; his specialty is astroparticle physics , his special research area is the trans-Neptunian objects . From the third season he works with Sheldon. He lives in an apartment in Pasadena. Like his friends, he collects comic books and loves science fiction. He often derives questions relating to the real world from these fictional works. Raj hates India and Indian food. He is Hindu and believes in karma , but deliberately violates some rules in Hinduism, e.g. B. he loves to eat beef.

Raj is very shy of women; in her presence he is unable to speak at the beginning of the series ( selective mutism ). As the series progresses, this improves in that he can talk to women if he consumes alcohol or something he suspects contains alcohol ( placebo effect ), or if he is under the influence of psychotropic drugs. Otherwise he whispers what he wants to say in Howard's ear, who is regularly annoyed by it and reluctantly passes on Raj's words. Nevertheless, Raj occasionally has success with women who are attractive but also have a problem, for example excessive shyness like him (with Lucy, with whom he has a brief relationship during the sixth and seventh seasons, he communicates in a library across the street via SMS) or deafness, with Howard translating into sign language. In the finale of the sixth season, Raj succeeds for the first time in overcoming his selective mutism, from the seventh season he can then speak to women without any hindrance even without alcohol.

In season five, Raj considers entering into a fictitious marriage with a lesbian woman after he has given up hope of finding his wife for life. Howard and Bernadette talk him out of it. To alleviate his loneliness, they give him the Yorkshire Terrier bitch Cinnamon. From then on, Raj's overly intimate relationship with the animal is always a reason for mockery.

Raj has feminine sides, and there are regular references to the fact that he may be homosexual, particularly related to his close friendship with Howard. He is ready to appear as Wonder Woman or other female heroes at costume parties; this only happens once and as a punishment for a lost bet, here Raj is the only one of the four friends who looks extremely happy with his costume.

Raj comes from a wealthy family; his father is a gynecologist in India. In conversations with his friends, he often refers to the poor conditions in his home country, whereupon Leonard and Howard in particular react critically and even horrified and point out that Raj's family employed several servants. Raj justifies his statement by saying that there were "only a few servants". Raj communicates regularly with his parents via video chat. His younger sister Priya is dating Leonard for the fourth and fifth seasons. Besides her he has another sister and three brothers. At the end of the seventh season, he gets together with Emily Sweeney. In the ninth season, Raj meets Claire in Stuart's comic book store, with whom he has a relationship and also has sex with Emily. Nevertheless, both split up with him in the ninth season, which makes Raj very depressed. He is a member of the band "Footprints on the Moon" founded by Howard.

Dr. Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz

Bernadette is initially the waitress and colleague of Penny in the Cheesecake Factory restaurant; with this job she finances her microbiology studies . She has Polish roots and was raised strictly Catholic, which is why she is not good at lying. Like Howard, she is quite small, which is discussed several times in the series. She is extremely ambitious, easily irritable and quickly snotty or angry, whereby her already high-pitched voice becomes particularly shrill.

Penny introduces Bernadette Howard and after some initial difficulties the two find each other and become a couple. Shortly before Howard goes into space, he marries Bernadette. In the fourth season, Bernadette is doing her PhD, is hired by a pharmaceutical company and is very well paid. She earns a lot more than Howard, which initially causes him problems. In season nine, Bernadette reveals that she is pregnant. Their daughter Halley is born in season 10 and their son Neil Michael is born in season 11. As a young mother, Bernadette got into the difficult conflict between raising children and the right time to return to work.

Bernadette is always fashionably dressed and without exception wears knee-free skirts and dresses. Her lush bust size is emphasized several times in the series, but unlike Penny, she does not use her femininity as a means to an end.

Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler

Amy is a neurobiologist at Harvard Accounts and is in the course of Sheldon's girlfriend series. For a long time the relationship was purely platonic . Amy had only dated men because she had an agreement with her mother that she would go out with a man once a year. Sheldon was one of those annual dates. At times a cigarette-smoking monkey, which was used in one of her experiments, lives in her apartment.

Like Sheldon, she has the peculiarity of commenting on things soberly and eloquently with the help of the findings of her subject, neurobiology, on the other hand, she often lacks social sensitivity. In school she was always an outsider, which she still suffers from. Sheldon increasingly realizes the similarities between them. If Amy emphasizes at the first meeting that she consistently rejects any form of physical contact or even intimacy, she changes this attitude fundamentally in the course of the series. In contrast to Sheldon, Amy suffers more and more from the lack of intimacy in their relationship. She also develops lesbian traits, declares Penny her best friend and tries to get closer to her, which Penny blocks. Amy becomes an integral part of the group. She does a lot together with Penny and Bernadette. Later she becomes increasingly jealous of all women around Sheldon and wants more intensive contact with him, which Sheldon does not understand for a long time.

In the course of the series, Amy wants to get intimate with Sheldon, which Sheldon initially rejects, but cannot prevent in the long run. He tries to negotiate her sexual requests down, they agree on "fumbling", but here too Amy becomes more and more demanding. After a brief breakup in the meantime, Sheldon finally feels ready to sleep with Amy and gives her this for her birthday in the ninth season. At the end of the tenth season, Sheldon finally asked for her hand; the series ends with the fact that, although a neurobiologist, she and her husband receive the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Amy is a fan of the series Our Little Farm and plays the harp.

In terms of clothing, Amy wears her grandmother's clothes, long skirts and dresses, never pants, but almost always a cardigan or two on top of each other and always opaque colored tights. Their fashion sense is a disaster, which Penny and Bernadette want to change every now and then, but which they fail. Ray only manages that in the penultimate episode, when he goes shopping with Amy for her appearance at the Nobel Prize ceremony and completely redesigns her.

Stuart David Bloom

Stuart's comic book store

Stuart attended the Rhode Island School of Design , has a degree in graphic design , and owns a comic book store, which he sometimes uses as an apartment for financial reasons. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj are regular customers. Stuart always succeeds in offering them comics or games that they cannot resist. Stuart has enormous knowledge in this area; he is particularly involved in technical and disputes with Sheldon.

On his first appearances, Stuart still appears as someone who essentially has his life under control and almost ends up in bed with Penny; however, over the course of later seasons, he is increasingly portrayed as a pitiful person. Since his business apparently does not generate much money, he has to work a lot for little money, cannot even afford an apartment later on, and repeatedly indicates that he is very lonely and that he has health problems, especially mentally, but also physically. At the end of season 7, his store was destroyed by fire. Howard then offers him to live with his mother and take care of her. Stuart accepts the offer and moves in with Howard's mother. To Howard's discomfort, Stuart gets closer and closer to his mother, who pampers him, and increasingly takes on the role of a son.

Stuart went out with Penny twice. At the end of the evening there is no rapprochement, although Penny shows sexual interest; however, she falls asleep when Stuart gets lost in a shop talk with Sheldon. Stuart later also has a date with Amy and is impressed by her strict, down-to-earth manner. When Sheldon finds out, he decides, jealous, to finally recognize Amy as his official girlfriend. In the final 12th season, Stuart gets together with Denise, his comic bookstore employee who shares his passion for comics and Star Wars.

Dr. Leslie Winkle

Leslie is an experimental physicist like Leonard. She had two one-night stands with him at the beginning of the series and, as a result, a steady relationship over several episodes. After a paintball fight , she gets together with Howard for a short time, but he only uses him for sex before she finally dumps him. Her relationship with Sheldon is limited to mutual taunts, in which she usually calls him a fool, whereupon Sheldon can often only counter very panicked and overwhelmed with rather harmless sayings. Leslie plays the violin.

Dr. Emily Sweeney

Emily is a dermatologist and meets Raj through a dating app; at the end of the seventh season they come together. Due to their strange and morbid tendencies, however, the ninth season of their relationship comes to an end, as the two have very different interests and inclinations. After Raj met the screenwriter Claire in the comic book store, with whom he had a parallel relationship at times, his relationship with Emily finally fell apart.


In season 12, Raj asks his father for an arranged marriage . This is how Raj meets Anu. Anu works as a concierge .



The first seven seasons were dubbed by the dubbing company Rainer Brandt Filmproduction in Berlin, from season 8 the Cinephon took over the dubbing. Stefan Ludwig wrote the dialogue books and directed the dialogue .

role actor Main role
Supporting role
Guest role
Dubbing voice
Dr. Leonard Hofstadter Johnny Galecki 1.01-12.24 Ozan Unal
Dr. Dr. Sheldon Cooper Jim Parsons 1.01-12.24 Gerrit Schmidt-Foss
Penny Hofstadter 1) Kaley Cuoco 1.01-12.24 Sonja Spuhl
Howard Wolowitz, M.Eng. Simon Helberg 1.01-12.24 Sebastian Schulz
Dr. Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali Kunal Nayyar 1.01-12.24 Rajvinder Singh
Dr. Leslie Winkle Sara Gilbert 2.02-2.03, 2.06, 2.16 1.03, 1.05, 1.13 3.23, 9.17 Diana Borgwardt
Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz 2) Melissa Rauch 4.04-12.24 3.05-3.14 Anita Hopt
Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler Mayim Bialik 4.08-12.24 4.01-4.05 3.23 Bianca Krahl
Stuart Bloom Kevin Sussman 6.01–6.17, 8.01–12.24 3) 2.20–5.24, 7.02–7.24 3) Bernhard Völger
Dr. Emily Sweeney Laura Spencer 9.04, 9.09, 9.13, 9.15, 9.18 7.17–8.24 3) 10.14 Sandrine Mittelstädt
1)Her family name is unknown for the first eight seasons. After her wedding at the beginning of the ninth season, she is called Hofstadter.
2)She will receive her doctorate at the end of the fourth season.
3) Irregular appearances

Opening credits and theme song

The title song comes from the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies and was released in 2011 on the album Hits From Yesterday & The Day Before . Only the first verse is used for the opening credits of the television series. The song is also sold separately under the Big Bang Theory Theme .

In keeping with this, the opening credits - starting with the Big Bang - show a rapid chronological run through the milestones in evolutionary history . The visualization is artistically designed in such a way that the content always strives in all directions away from the center of the image (corresponding to the explosion of the Big Bang and the continuous expansion of the universe).

The only exception in the stream of images is the shot before the final series logo, which statically shows the protagonists on the couch in Leonard's and Sheldon's flat share. This penultimate shot is also the only one that creates a direct visual connection to the actors. Penny, Howard, Raj, Leonard and Sheldon sit there in the first five seasons. From the sixth season on, Amy and Bernadette can also be seen there.


United States

The first broadcast was on September 24, 2007 on the US broadcaster CBS . The first season ran there until May 19, 2008. The second ran between September 22, 2008 and May 11, 2009 also on CBS. In March 2009, the television series was then extended by two more seasons. The third season ran between September 21, 2009 and May 24, 2010. The fourth season aired between September 23, 2010 and May 19, 2011 on CBS. The fifth season aired on CBS between September 22, 2011 and May 10, 2012. The sixth season aired on CBS between September 27, 2012 and May 16, 2013. The station broadcast the seventh season from September 26, 2013 to May 15, 2014.

On March 20, 2017, CBS extended the television series for two more seasons, so that it could be seen until 2019. Since CBS had also secured the rights for the Thursday games of the NFL in the United States from 2014 to 2018 , the first six (seasons 8 and 9) and first five (seasons 10 and 11) episodes of each season were initially broadcast on Mondays before they were broadcast the series returned to its original slot on Thursday evening. The twelfth and final season was broadcast from September 24, 2018 to May 16, 2019.


In Germany, the first season was broadcast on ProSieben between July 11 and September 26, 2009 . On average, the first season came to 11.1 percent of the advertising-relevant target group of 14 to 49 year olds. The second season was broadcast from October 10 to December 19, 2009. The third season was broadcast from February 7 to 22, 2011 on ProSieben. The ratings for the third season averaged 12.9 percent in the target group and 11.9 percent market share. The first 18 episodes of the fourth season were shown between September 6 and November 1, 2011 on Tuesdays, mostly in double episodes (three episodes on two days). The remaining episodes were broadcast from February 7, 2012. Immediately after the fourth season, ProSieben also began broadcasting the first twelve episodes of the fifth season from March 13, 2012 without interruption. The remaining twelve episodes of this season were also broadcast on ProSieben from August 28 to November 13, 2012. The first twelve episodes of the sixth season were broadcast from January 28 to April 15, 2013.

From August 26, 2013, ProSieben broadcast the second half of the sixth season of The Big Bang Theory . The first 12 episodes of the seventh season could be seen there from January 6 to March 24, 2014, the remaining 12 were broadcast between September 8 and November 17, 2014. The first twelve episodes of the eighth season ran from January 5 to March 23, 2015 on ProSieben. The remaining twelve episodes were also broadcast on ProSieben from September 14, 2015. After a short break following the eighth season, ProSieben started broadcasting the ninth season on January 4, 2016. Since January 5, 2016, the eighth season and since February 17, 2017 the ninth season for customers of Amazon Prime has been available for streaming at no extra charge (e.g. via Fire TV).

According to calculations by the television magazine TV Today , ProSieben showed the series a total of 2265 times in the period from August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015, which corresponds to six episodes per day. Of these, 2,241 were broadcasts and only 24 were first broadcasts. In the survey period, ProSieben only had 171 episodes available, so individual episodes were repeated 17 times. Since ProSieben had licensed the multiple broadcasting of the episodes from the rights holder within the contract period and an episode could even be broadcast as often as desired within 24 hours, the more frequently it became the cheaper the episode.

On January 8, 2020, the final, twelfth season was released on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video .


In Austria, ORF eins broadcast the first season between March 13 and May 22, 2010. The second season broadcast ORF eins between May 22 and September 4, 2010. The third season was from May 21 to May 6, 2010. Aired August 2011. From March 17 to November 10, 2012, the fifth season was broadcast on ORF one. Only after the first broadcast of the fifth season on the weekends was the fourth season first broadcast on the weekdays from July 27 to September 13, 2012. ORF one broadcast the first twelve episodes of the sixth season between February 2 and May 11, 2013.


In Switzerland, the TV station 3+ started broadcasting the sitcom on September 10, 2011 with season 4 in double episodes on Saturday evening.


The Big Bang Theory has aired in over 50 countries. According to the Nielsen Company , the television series is the most successful comedy among viewers aged 18 to 49 years, which was launched in 2007 and 2008.

When the television series started, it was initially controversial whether the scientific facts were presented correctly. Later reviews, such as Jennifer Ouellette's, praise the scientific correctness, which is a rare achievement for a sitcom. This is largely attributed to the efforts of David Saltzberg , a physicist from the University of California, Los Angeles , who works as a consultant for the television series. Saltzberg writes the scientific dialogues for the script and creates the drawings on the whiteboards that are often the subject of the series. For example, the thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat is applied to the date situation between Penny and Leonard, or Sheldon mockingly uses Ockham's principle of thrift by means of a letter in a wastebasket, which is intended to explain two events with the simplest, most plausible possibility.

According to Andrew Zimmerman, it is not necessary to know the physical laws of nature to understand humor, but an additional level of pleasure is added for those who understand them. He goes on to say: “ The Big Bang Theory seems to strive to get the science right. It's funny precisely because it's so precise, because jokes are not only made about the researchers, but also about the universe they study. The very logic that allows them to understand abstract quantum physics is what keeps them from understanding normal people like Penny. "

The television series was accused of spreading negative stereotypes about physicists. The Nobel laureate George F. Smoot , who subsequently The Terminator Decoupling can be seen in a guest appearance, holds the awkward social quirks of the characters for "a little exaggerated", but he appreciates how the television series represents those whose work is to think rigorously. Phil Plait reports that he knows a bunch of scientists who are "incredibly precise" like the fictional characters. There are a lot of jokes made against the geeks, but in his opinion the writers would extol them: “They are smart, they are successful in their field, but they have their struggles to fit into real life and can be quite annoying his ... but in the end we feel affection for her. You are personable. It would have been easy to make them the target of every joke, but the writers don't. ”According to Jennifer Ouellette, the characters were drawn with only rough strokes when the series started, but have now evolved into much more complex versions.

Natalie Angier names as a possible cause for the low importance of women in physics "idiotic TV series like The Big Bang Theory , with four socially awkward male physics geniuses and the attractive blonde girl next door". Heather Mac Donald replied that if a sitcom was a barrier to women, it would contradict the feminist claim that women are just as "tough" as men. Luboš Motl thinks the television series is realistic: “Anyone who has lived in similar circles should know that this kind of geekiness, which is described in The Big Bang Theory , is an almost entirely male trait. It's not 100 percent masculine - and in fact The Big Bang Theory offers us Leslie (and, to a lesser extent, Ramona and Stephanie) - but the distribution of character types and geekiness between men and women is extremely accurate in the television series. "

Paul Collins speculates on whether Sheldon has Asperger's Syndrome . Chuck Lorre has denied this. But even if it was not intended, the writers of the television series have been asked so often about Asperger's Syndrome that they have to be clear about the subtext when they let the researchers discuss whether Superman is flying or jumping. Collins continues: “Now that The Big Bang Theory is running everywhere from Iceland to the Philippines, Sheldon is set to become an aspies pop culture icon. This may not be a bad thing. As much as he can make others despair, Sheldon has adapted remarkably well to his world. Below the slapstick, The Big Bang Theory is a meditation on how intelligent people deal with the absurdly unevenly distributed talents given to them. For a comedy this is an inspiring - even noble - starting position. "


Since 2008, The Big Bang Theory has been nominated for more than 40 television awards, of which the television series won the following awards (selection):

  • 2009: American Film Institute TV Award (TV Program of the Year)
  • 2009: two Television Critics Association Awards (Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor - Jim Parsons)
  • 2010: People's Choice Award (Favorite TV Comedy)
  • 2010: Emmy for Jim Parsons (Best Actor in a Comedy Series)
  • 2011: Golden Globe Award for Jim Parsons ( Best Actor in a Series - Comedy or Musical )
  • 2011: Emmy for Jim Parsons (Best Actor in a Comedy Series)
  • 2011: TV Guide Award (Most Popular Comedy Series)
  • 2013: People's Choice Award (Favorite Network TV Comedy)
  • 2013: Critics' Choice Television Award for Simon Helberg (Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
  • 2013: Emmy for Jim Parsons (Best Actor in a Comedy Series)
  • 2014: People's Choice Award for the series (Favorite Network TV Comedy) and for Kaley Cuoco (Favorite Comedic TV Actress)
  • 2014: Emmy for Jim Parsons (Best Actor in a Comedy Series)
  • 2015: People's Choice Awards for the series (Favorite TV Show and Favorite Network Comedy) and for Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (Favorite Comedic TV Actress)
  • 2016: People's Choice Awards for the series (Favorite TV Show and Favorite Network Comedy) and for Jim Parsons (Favorite Comedic TV Actor)


  • Most of the episodes were recorded live in front of an audience at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank . The recording of an episode took between three and five hours.
  • The family names of the two main characters are based on the Nobel Prize winners Robert Hofstadter and Leon Neil Cooper ; the first names go back to the American actor and producer Sheldon Leonard .
  • Johnny Galecki, Sara Gilbert , Sara Rue and Laurie Metcalf have already appeared together in the television series Roseanne .
  • Mayim Bialik and Johnny Galecki played together in the television series Blossom .
  • Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert were briefly in a relationship.
  • Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco were a couple for a while. It was only after their split in 2010 that they publicly announced that they had been together for two years.
  • In 2006, a first pilot of the television series was produced, but never aired. From this only the roles of Leonard and Sheldon were taken. The original cast also included beautician Katie ( Amanda Walsh ), who bears a certain resemblance to Penny, and Gilda ( Iris Bahr ), a colleague and friend of the two main characters and also a former affair of Sheldon.
  • Mayim Bialik plays a neurobiologist in the television series. Bialik also has a doctorate; In 2008 she was awarded a Ph.D. PhD in neuroscience.
  • In the UK , the influence of the television series increased the number of physics students by more than 17% in 2010. In addition, the proportion of high school diplomas with a physics course rose to 28%. These connections could also be proven in Germany, since after the beginning of the broadcast of the series in 2009 the proportions of physics students among all freshmen students increased disproportionately. In a Germany-wide survey among students of physics and history , however, it was shown that this relationship is very likely to exist by chance and that there is no causal effect. The study criticizes the fact that Germany is not representative and that there is self-selection .
  • The root-mouth jellyfish Bazinga rieki , which was first described in 2013 , was named after the characteristic saying "Bazinga" by Sheldon Cooper, as was the magnificent bee species Euglossa bazinga in 2012 .
  • The two protagonists of the musical duo Garfunkel and Oates , Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci , appear independently of each other in the series.
  • In the 13th episode of the first season, when Leonard, Howard and Raj are looking for a fourth member for their advice team, Raj suggests (in the English language version) the leading actress of the series Blossom , because she is very smart and has a degree in neuroscience. This leading actress is Mayim Bialik .
  • February 25 - the 200th episode of the television series aired on this day in 2016 - has been officially declared The Big Bang Theory Day by the politicians of the city of Pasadena .
  • Katey Sagal , best known for her role as Peggy Bundy from A Terribly Nice Family , plays Penny's mother. She has played the mother of Kaley Cuoco in the series My Wild Daughters .
  • The cat dance song , which Sheldon always wants to have sung when he is sick, is called Soft Kitty in the English original . The text of the quatrain comes from Edith Newlin and was composed in the 1930s. Newlin's heirs, who never received royalties, sued. The publisher of the music book, Willis Music , in which the song was published in 1937, however, emphasized that the licenses had been transferred to Warner Bros. for the series "cleanly and legally". On March 28, 2017, a judge in New York City dismissed the lawsuit.
  • The automotive group Volkswagen AG has named a training center for IT experts Faculty 73 in reference to Sheldon Cooper, who considers the number 73 to be the best number.
  • The series should initially be called Lenny, Penny and Kenny . Kenny's name was then renamed Sheldon and the title changed.
  • According to a GfK study, The Big Bang Theory was the most watched series on streaming services with 13 percent in the first quarter of 2019.

DVD and Blu-ray releases

All previously released seasons are available on both DVD and Blu-ray . The following table shows the release dates.

Season United States Great Britain Germany
1 September 2, 2008 January 12, 2009 April 16, 2010
2 September 15, 2009 October 19, 2009 September 24, 2010
3 September 14, 2010 September 27, 2010 October 7, 2011
4th September 13, 2011 September 26, 2011 April 13, 2012
5 September 11, 2012 3rd September 2012 December 14, 2012
6th September 10, 2013 2. September 2013 22nd of November 2013
7th 16th September 2014 September 8, 2014 December 11, 2014
8th 15th September 2015 September 14, 2015 3rd December 2015
9 13th September 2016 29th August 2016 15th December 2016
10 12th September 2017 11th September 2017 December 21, 2017
11 11th September 2018 September 24, 2018 December 6, 2018
12 November 12, 2019 November 11, 2019 5th December 2019
The complete series November 12, 2019


In early November 2016 it was announced that CBS would produce a spin -off prequel series for The Big Bang Theory called Young Sheldon , which would be about the prehistory of the young Sheldon Cooper and his family in Galveston, Texas. In March 2017, CBS officially announced the series order. In contrast to The Big Bang Theory , which is produced in multi-camera format , Young Sheldon is said to be a single-camera production. Iain Armitage will play the role of Sheldon Cooper , while Jim Parsons will act as narrator and executive producer. The role of mother Mary is taken over by Zoe Perry , the daughter of Laurie Metcalf , the series mother of Sheldon in the original. ProSieben broadcasts the series in German-speaking countries. The first episode aired on September 25, 2017 on CBS. The German premiere began on January 8, 2018.


  • Amy Rickman: The Big Bang Theory from A to Z. The unofficial guide to the TV series . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86265-133-7 .
  • Andreas Arimont: The Big Bang Theory deciphered. The Unofficial Guide to the TV Series: Seasons 1 to 3 . CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4905-9986-1 .
  • Andreas Hock: The Big Bang University. The ultra-fun, hyper-intelligent and unofficial entrance test for the neriest flat of all time. riva, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-86883-303-4 .
  • Tobias Haupts: The Big Bang Theory. In: Jürgen Müller (Ed.): The best TV series. Taschen's selection from the past 25 years. Taschen, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-8365-4272-2 , pp. 458-467.
  • William Irwin, Dean A. Kowalski (Eds.): The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy. Stone, paper, scissors, Aristotle, Locke. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-499-62892-4 . (The American original edition was published in 2012 by John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken / New Jersey)

Web links

Commons : The Big Bang Theory  - Collection of Images

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