The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show, along with Steven Molaro. All three also serve as head writers. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007.
The show is centered on five characters: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, two physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Penny, a blonde waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense. Three other supporting characters have also been promoted to starring roles: Leslie Winkle, a physicist colleague at Caltech and, at different times, a lover of both Leonard and Howard; Bernadette Rostenkowski, Howard's fiancée, who is a microbiologist and part-time waitress alongside Penny; and Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist who joins the group after being matched to Sheldon on a dating website.
The show is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions.In August 2009, the sitcom won the best comedy series TCA award and Jim Parsons (Sheldon) won the award for individual achievement in comedy.In 2010, the show won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy, while Parsons won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. On January 16, 2011, Parsons was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical, an award that was presented by co-star Kaley Cuoco (Penny). On September 18, 2011, Parsons was again awarded an Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.
When the third season premiered on September 21, 2009, The Big Bang Theory ranked as CBS's highest-rated show of that evening in the adults 18–49 demographic (4.6/10), along with a then-series-high 12.83 million viewers. On May 19, 2010, it was announced that CBS would be moving the show to Thursdays at 8:00 ET for the 2010–2011 schedule. On January 12, 2011, CBS announced that the show had been renewed for an additional three years, extending it through the 2013–2014 season. The fifth season premiered on September 22, 2011, in its usual time slot with two back-to-back episodes.