‘The Big Bang Theory’ Was Almost Named Something Ridiculous, But Catchy

The Big Bang Theory is, to many fans, one of the greatest shows ever to air on television. Full of slapstick comedy and moments of emotion between friends, The Big Bang Theory remains a mainstay of network television, even though the series finale aired in early 2019.

The sitcom starred fan-favorite performers such as Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons, and Johnny Galecki, and featured a host of popular guest stars over the years. As well as fans know the show, however, there was a time when The Big Bang Theory very nearly was given a different title. 

What is ‘The Big Bang Theory’ about?

Sheldon (Jim Parsons, right) and Amy (Mayim Bialik, left) host a live Valentine's Day episode of Fun with Flag, on THE BIG BANG THEORY
Sheldon (Jim Parsons, right) and Amy (Mayim Bialik, left) host a live Valentine’s Day episode of Fun with Flag, on THE BIG BANG THEORY. | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

The Big Bang Theory debuted on television in 2007, filmed in front of a live audience as a throwback to network comedies of days gone by. The show tells the story of four smart, socially awkward friends — Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, all of whom work at the same university.

Their world is turned upside down when they become friends with Penny, the attractive aspiring actress who lives across the hall from them. Eventually, viewers met other characters, including Amy, who rivals Sheldon in terms of social awkwardness, and Bernadette, who pairs up perfectly with geeky Howard.

Over time, the characters experience many major life milestones, including marriage, death, and childbirth. By 2009, The Big Bang Theory was one of the hottest shows around, and viewers tuned in every week to catch up with the gang. The series eventually became popular with critics as well, and all in all, it scored seven Emmy Awards and received literally dozens of nominations. 

What was ‘The Big Bang Theory’ originally called?

The Big Bang Theory aired its final season in May 2019. Although it is no longer airing new episodes, the reruns have remained extremely popular with both existing and new viewers, and it seems likely that the momentum won’t be slowing anytime soon.

Interestingly enough, the show that is beloved by so many originally had a very different title. According to a report by Good Housekeeping, the series was going to be called Lenny, Penny, and Kenny.

While fans of The Big Bang Theory can easily pick out the characters of Leonard and Penny in the show’s working title, Kenny is likely unfamiliar — and that is because Kenny was supposed to be Sheldon’s name before it was changed to something a bit more suitable for the awkward scientist. The title Lenny, Penny, and Kenny was ultimately scrapped, even though that title would have put the series in the same category as other sitcoms that utilized characters’ first names.

Likely, much of the change is due to the fact that Sheldon’s character received his final moniker, which would have rendered the “Kenny” part of the title meaningless. 

‘The Big Bang Theory’ remains popular with viewers

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The Big Bang Theory is a series that defied many expectations, and it continues to live on in several forms today. The show’s reruns continue to enchant fans, while the series spinoff, Young Sheldon, recently began airing its successful fourth season.

Many of the show’s stars are still working in television in some capacity, while others, like Jim Parsons, have taken a step back from television in order to work on other projects. 

Showrunners might not be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice, but everyone involved in the making of The Big Bang Theory should be proud of the work that they have done in bringing a show so beloved and influential to television.