‘The Big Bang Theory’ is one of the most successful American sitcoms of all time. But how many of you knew that if things went a little differently, we could have been subjected to completely different versions of the characters we love. Yes, we are talking about the original unaired pilot of TBBT, which was significantly different from the version we saw.
Before getting approved to be aired on a channel, television shows go through a process. Delivering the perfect pilot episode becomes the sure-shot way to making it to the television. However, in the case of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, it seemed like the producers had messed it up. We have an unaired pilot episode that is vastly different than the one which was eventually aired and became a foundation stone of the 12 seasons of the glorious run. But how differently did the makers originally envision the series?
- Unaired pilot ‘Big Bang Theory’
- TBBT unaired pilot full episode
There were several aspects of the original pilot that did not sit well with the producers. For one, it was way darker than what we saw on-screen. Secondly, in that version, Sheldon was portrayed as more sexually experienced than the version which everyone saw. However, to be fair, we would have loved to see a sexually active Sheldon. That would have been a riot! But, apparently, the CBS chairman didn’t think so. The pilot was completely rewritten and reshot. It got to a point where it was hard to recognize if Leonard and Sheldon were the same characters that we have known from the unaired pilot.
The unaired pilot of ‘Big Bang Theory’
The original unaired pilot began with Sheldon and Leonard on their way to donate sperms to make some quick bucks. Funnily enough, it was a high IQ sperm bank. While it was the same as the original pilot aired, it was what came next that made it different from the other version. In the unaired pilot, Sheldon and Leonard find an attractive girl named Katie sitting on the sidewalk. Visibly sad, she is depressed as her boyfriend turned out to be a married man. She also mentioned how she slept with her stepfather and her mother threw her out of the house. Leonard and Sheldon bring her back to their apartments and start hitting on her. The episode almost entirely played into Katie’s sexuality as both Leonard and Sheldon develop a crush on her. There was also a nerdy character named Gild. By now, it has become sufficiently clear that Katie’s character was later replaced by Penny, who went on to become the heart and soul of the series.
TBBT unaired pilot full episode
Hence, in the unaired pilot, we saw Katie, a sexy, confident woman who wasn’t really interested in Sheldon and Leonard as she had no interest in intelligent men. Penny was her opposite to a great extent. She was portrayed as a more confident, sweet and charming woman who was sweet enough to befriend the men she wasn’t interested in sexually, but respected. Here, we can clearly see the difference between the two different approaches the series took in both the pilots. The makers played it smart by deciding to go with Penny’s timeline. It was more hopeful, interesting and heart-warming, which led to an eventual finale that almost everyone was satisfied with.
The CBS chairman at that time saw the unaired pilot and thought that it had potential. But the whole Katie angle wasn’t working out and hence, the makers were asked to rework the pilot. It was then that the characters of Raj, Howard and Penny came to fruition and the rest, as they say, is history.
Knowing these points and knowing how ‘The Big Bang Theory’ would have shaped up if the unaired pilot had become the final version, it’s hard to imagine Sheldon being a stud. But all’s well that ends well. Bazinga!!
Tell us in the comments which is the version of the TBBT pilot you would have preferred if you had to make the final call. Also, tell us your take on a sexually experienced Sheldon vs the loveable abstinent Sheldon.