3 Chuck Lorre CBS Sitcoms Billy Gardell Starred in, From ‘Mike and Molly’ to ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’

Chuck Lorre made a name for himself as the ‘King of Sitcoms.’ Responsible for CBS titles like The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, and Bob Hearts Abishola, he has made a name for himself in American TV. And as a frequent collaborator with Chuck Lorre, Billy Gardell has led more than one sitcom for the director.

Chuck Lorre and Billy Gardell at the 24th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards
Chuck Lorre and Billy Gardell | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

#1 ‘Mike & Molly’ was the first time Chuck Lorre and Billy Gardell teamed up

Lorre and Gardell first collaborated on Mike & Molly, about a couple who meet at an Overeater’s Anonymous meeting. Mike (played by Gardell) and Molly (Melissa McCarthy) grow closer over the course of the CBS show, marry, and even deal with children by the series finale.

“‘Attracted to the script’ doesn’t really describe [how I felt],” Gardell said in a 2011 interview. “‘Begging for the part’ is more like it. To get involved with a show that Mark Roberts created this show that has a life of its own. It’s funny, but it has touching moments.”

Chuck Lorre acted as the executive producer on the romcom, and with the line-up of names, he considered himself “the weakest link.” However, Lorre evidently did not think the same.

Mike & Molly ran for six seasons from May 16, 2011, to 2016. And it did not mark the last time Gardell played the lead role for Lorre.

#2 ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ had Chuck Lorre, Billy Gardell, and Gina Yashere involved

In another sitcom dealing with a chance romantic pairing, Bob Hearts Abishola follows Bob Wheeler (Gardell) and Nigerian nurse Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) falling in love after Bob suffers a heart attack.

The show has received praise for its portrayal of Nigerian culture, with Gardell even saying the Bob Hearts Abishola cast and crew deserve an Emmy nomination for the wedding episode.

Billy Gardell praised Chuck Lorre and the whole cast on how open-minded the set feels for crafting jokes around clashing cultures. While Lorre came up with the idea for the sitcom, he knew he needed a Nigerian comic to help, which led to bringing Gina Yashere on as a co-creator.

The show also stars Vernee Watson as Gloria and Maribeth Monroe as Bob’s sister Christina. Both actors previously starred in Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory. Watson in particular joined Gardell on The Big Bang Theory prequel show.

#3 ‘Young Sheldon’ brought the sitcom star on as neighbor Herschel Sparks

Before Lorre and Gina Yashere’s Bob Hearts Abishola premiered, Gardell starred on Young Sheldon. In The Big Bang Theory prequel, he played Herschel Sparks, neighbor to Iain Armitage and husband of Brenda Sparks.

A mechanic and garage owner, he had a rough marriage that eventually led to Herschel and Brenda Sparks splitting up.

However, behind the scenes, the reason for his departure likely resulted from Bob Hearts Abishola taking up his schedule.

As CBS plans for Bob Hearts Abishola Season 3 to return with new episodes in 2022, Billy Gardell and Chuck Lorre seem to have a long partnership ahead of them.

RELATED: ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’: Which ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Cast Members Star in the Show?