‘Big Bang Theory’ to Undergo Big Plot Change in Season 8
The entirety of The Big Bang Theory cast haven’t even technically signed an official contract for season eight yet, but co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre is already planning some big changes for some of the characters on the smash hit CBS series. Lorre recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that some big plot changes are in the works, specifically regarding Kaley Cuoco’s character, Penny.
Fans of the show know that Penny has been (mostly unsuccessfully) pursuing an acting career since the beginning of the series while also maintaining a waitressing gig at the Cheesecake Factory. Last season, she quit her job at the restaurant to chase her dreams of Hollywood fame full-time. Unfortunately, the only job that she manages to book is that in a bad, extremely low-budget film, which she eventually gets fired from. This season though, things for her will turn around dramatically career-wise.
“Penny has an interesting arc this year where she puts acting down,” Lorre confirmed at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter. “She gets a shot to be a pharmaceutical rep at Bernadette’s [Melissa Rauch] company.”
To the surprise of some of her friends, and particularly to soon-to-be husband Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Penny begins to excel in her new vocation, becoming increasingly confident in herself and her capabilities and earning a higher salary than ever before. Her newfound success will eventually cause a change in the dynamic between Penny and Leonard, who became engaged toward the end of season seven.
“She’s going to start making some money, which will unbalance their relationship as the power shifts,” Lorre said of the new storyline. “She’s going to find some confidence and self-esteem, which acting does not provide in great heaping doses.”
They won’t be the only ones going through a time of transition. Though the show has never planned out an entire season at once, Lorre says viewers of the series can expect this season to keep its focus on the evolving relationship between the main group of characters.
The producer also expressed confidence that the ongoing contract negotiations will eventually be solved without a problem. “There are people at Warner Bros. Television and people representing the actors who have done this before,” he said. “This will work itself out. I think it’s great; I want them all to be crazy wealthy because nobody deserves it more than this cast. It’ll work out.”
“Crazy wealthy” might actually be the best way to describe it. Recent reports suggest that Jim Parsons, Galecki, and Cuoco could command salaries of up to $1 million an episode in the eighth season. But while Lorre insists there’ll be no reason to delay production (originally scheduled to start July 30), Deadline reports that little progress has been made in the proceedings. Despite the report, it seems inevitable that CBS will have no choice but to agree to continue to bank on the show, especially given that the show gained an average of 19.79 million viewers in the least season. And with new plot twists on the horizon, season eight could be on track to top even those ratings.