Why Are 23.4 Million People Watching The Big Bang Theory?

We at TVWriter™ watch the show because we identify all too well with all of the characters. But this article goes into a few other, more business-y reasons for the show’s popularity. (Confidential Note: We hate business-y reasons, but, hey, the business, right?)

BBTby Bookles

TV shows are not supposed to be this popular, not in the age of DVRs, Netflix, and cord-cutting. Nevertheless, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory—an old-fashioned multi-camera comedy about four nerdy men and three women who tolerate them—is not only television’s No. 1 show but also the highest-rated sitcom sinceFriends signed off in 2004. Here’s why. 

Casting

“It’s a cast of comedy pros,” says Jaime Weinman, critic for Maclean’s. “Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco were sitcom vets. Jim Parsons became the breakout star. There’s no weak link. In TV you can’t just cast a star like in movies—you have to cast unknowns, and what [Big Bang co-creator] Chuck Lorre is good at is picking the right people for the right parts—and picking people the public will like.”

Time Slot: Thursday, 8 pm

Since The Cosby Show, viewers have been trained to tune in on Thursday nights, which is when Big Bang has aired since 2010 (it used to air on Mondays). “Thursdays always had the best shows,” says Lisa Vebber, NBC’s former head of scheduling, “because it’s the most important night of the week for advertisers.”

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