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Big Bang Theory clone coming to NBC

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 16th 2009 11:04AM
The Big Bang TheoryOkay, maybe it's not a "clone" per se, but the premise reads like an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Coming to NBC: a group of small-town fanboys try to make continuing episodes of their favorite sci fi series after it is canceled. Larry Charles, who was behind such fare as Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Borat and Bruno, will be behind the production.

The new idea is also "semi-scripted", which means it'll likely be heavily improvised much like most of the series and movies that Charles has been involved with. Warner Bros. TV is the company producing and they also do The Big Bang Theory, so they're in effect competing with themselves. This is a good thing because they win either way.

Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing this premise played out on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon gets the idea and, using his sly coercive techniques, makes everybody else play along. Since he knows no other females, he coerces Penny (who is an aspiring actress anyway) to play the token female in the series. Quick! Call Chuck Lorre!

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That doesn't really sound like TBBT to me.

TBBT would be 'a couple of guys who are over the top geeks walk around and try to interact with the non-geek world by using their crazy geeky references.'

I've seen a handful of episodes of TBBT and every episode tries way too hard to convey the message that the main characters are geeks.

November 16 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I bet the show is going to be pretty weak, and since there's a tiny connection to The Big Bang Theory they're throwing it out to get viewers. I'll probably check out the pilot out of curiosity (if it doesn't interfere with something I already watch of course) but will I stick with it? Probably not. If they're connecting it with TBBT then everyone will be expecting something huge, and I don't think they'll pull it off.

November 16 2009 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thor's comment

Who's connecting it with BBT other than blog post authors?

And why do you assume a Larry Charles series will be kinda weak? Are you unfamiliar with his TV and movie successes?

November 16 2009 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with a lot of the sentiments above - respect your premise, treat it with affection and don't go too far over the top.

I would add to that - do some research on the phenomena. Talk to people who've started out that way and went on to make something of themselves in the industry here and overseas, like Gabriel Koerner (Trek) and most of the guys from Big Finish Productions (Doctor Who).

November 16 2009 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only difference will be that it won't have laugh tracks, it'll be way funnier, I'll be watching it and no one else will.
I don't really see how we can say that Larry Charles is creating a clone of another TV show. He's got a very impressive resume.
I doubt many people would be excited about Chuck Lorre making another formulaic sitcom. Well, I guess that's not true. But if I had to choose I'd rather watch a less popular NBC comedy rather than a hugely popular CBS sitcom.

November 16 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It doesn't sound like a clone to me.
TBBT: Scripted New show: Semi-Scripted
TTBT: Smart guys New Show: Fainboi idiots
TTBT: Good New Show: On NBC so how good could it be.

November 16 2009 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Could be entertaining, as long as they don't fall into the trap of using the geeks as objects of ridicule. BBT at its heart loves its geeks. Yes, they're a bit extreme, and the show does poke fun at them from time to time, but it's a comedy, and at the end of the day the viewer wants Sheldon and Leonard and Raj to win. (Unlike, say, Married With Children, where the affection for the Bundy's was limited at best.)

Fanboy geeks are different stripe than Science geeks, and a bit more open to mockery (since, at the end of the day, most people approve of science and it does imply a job and not living in a parents basement.) There seems to have been a lot of portrayals of the comic-book reading, pot-smoking, can't-hold-a-real job geeks out there, and I'd be a lot happier with more BBT-style, we hold jobs and are happy with our lives, we just socialize differently, geeks.

November 16 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doesn't sound like a clone to me... only thing they have in common is the nerdity of the main characters! I assume the folks in this show will be less on the genius side and more on the fanboy side.

If they cast this well, with real but decent-looking people (as I'm sure many of the readers of this blog know, not all sci-fi nerds are fat, ugly, and living in their mom's basement... in fact most are quite normal!) and more than one woman (the gender ration at Dragon*Con is quite even, if not slightly more females), then yeah, this could be great.

Basically, if they respect who they're parodying, like the Big Bang Theory does, then they could have another hit on your hands! I know I'll tune in if this gets picked up.

November 16 2009 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Nathaniel's comment

Quick follow-up to my own post: they must make the show-within-a-show genuinely good, too. I've seen a few too many extremely fake sci-fi franchises and conventions in one-off episodes of various shows.

November 16 2009 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

True! It's a surprise to outsiders, but media fandom is pretty close to even gender ratio. (Science geeks are heavily male, BBT is correct on that. They exaggerate it a little for comic effect.)

November 16 2009 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't get to watch TBBT (Thank you cable companies of America) until it comes out on dvd. So I will check out this new show but I doubt it will live up to it's predecessor.

I just hope it doesn't read like a geek version of seinfeld .

November 16 2009 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to wulfn1's comment

how is it you dont get cbs? its an OTA channel

November 16 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok so that reply didn't make it ...

I live in a rural area. While both CBS and ABC are considered within my "broadcast" area, without a strong antenna - translate that to expensive, the $29. model I have just doesn't cut it. (and really at this point I am not paying any more money to watch tv than I already do.).

November 16 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Then it is safe to assume that TBBT is a hit, to be 'cloned' by another network. I think I'll stick to Sheldon and crew.

November 16 2009 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So just because there are (likely) geeks involved, it's a clone of BBT?

The premise sounds absolutely nothing like Big Bang Theory, and the end result will likely have a completely different feel, as well.

November 16 2009 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul's comment

I agree. Same target audience perhaps, but certainly I would not jump to calling the show idea anywhere close to a clone of TBBT.

November 16 2009 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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