Fact or Fiction: Big Bang, Brothers & Sisters and CSI
by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 9th 2009 1:01PM
Welcome to our new feature, TV Squad readers. How well do you know what you think you know about television? Play our little trivia game, Fact or Fiction. We'll state the premise, then tell you the reality, i.e. the fact or the fiction. By the way, if you have ideas for Fact or Fiction, or questions you'd like us to figure out, share with us in the comments.
Fact or Fiction: When Chuck Lorre originally created The Big Bang Theory, the boys were dominated by a nasty neighbor named Katie.
Fact! Chuck Lorre told Watch magazine's Jim Colluci that a year before The Big Bang Theory was picked up by CBS, the first pilot had a female character named Katie. She manipulated the guys. "It was like shooting fish in a barrel. It didn't work," Johnny Galecki told Colluci. The problem was that Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard were and are essentially innocents and without maliciousness. The idea of a woman taking advantage of their innocence was not only mean, it wasn't funny. The writers went back to the drawing board -- so to speak -- and, thus, the character of sweet, gentle Penny was born.
Fact or Fiction: Once Sally Field agreed to star in Brothers and Sisters, ABC greenlighted the series.
Fiction! Betty Buckley was not only cast as Nora Walker, she filmed the pilot. And the role of Kevin? That was actor Jonathan LaPaglia's role. After filming the pilot and testing it, ABC and the producers decided to recast two major roles. Matthew Rhys became Kevin -- and has been great ever since -- while two-time Oscar winner Sally Field took the Nora part. She's since won an Emmy for her performance. Want to see what the show might have looked like if they hadn't recast? Take a look at this promo from 2006.
Fact or Fiction: In 2000, every network wanted CSI and there was a bidding war for the series.
Fiction! In 2000, a spec script for CSI has been shopped to NBC, ABC and Fox, but all of them passed on producer Anthony Zuiker's project. Even though film producer Jerry Bruckheimer was backing the series, only CBS expressed interest, and that was thanks to William Petersen. Petersen had a pay or play contract with the network and this was the project they agreed upon. Still, for that season, CSI was not projected as a big hit. That honor went to Tim Daly's version of The Fugitive. CSI became the ratings giant -- spawning two spinoffs -- and The Fugitive was canceled after 22 episodes.
Check out clips and episodes from The Big Bang Theory, Brothers and Sisters and CSI on SlashControl.]