It’s halfway through season 9 of The Big Bang Theory, and the show is still a huge ratings draw. With the sitcom contracted to run at least until the end of season 10, show producers fielded questions recently about where the characters go from here — and whether there might be more Big Bang after the next year and a half. They revealed not only their take on the show’s future, but some possible plot lines that have yet to be explored, involving some often-discussed, but never seen, characters.
Steven Molaro and Chuck Lorre told The Hollywood Reporter that they are continuing to plan episodes as if season 10 is the end, although the show could very well be on the air much longer. Molaro said the number of installments still left means any talk of season 11 would happen far into the future — and the show already has a lot of loose ends.
“There are still a lot of characters out there in this world that we’ve never met that I’m still excited, over the next season and a half, to get a chance to do something about. We’ve never met Penny’s mom, Leonard’s dad, Sheldon’s Meemaw or Howard’s dad — and that’s a big tentpole that’s still floating out there.”
Last season saw the introduction of Howard’s previously unknown half-brother, Josh, but the two men did not discuss their father. When THR reported on casting for the role, the publication mentioned the character was, for the time being, only scheduled for one episode.
Sheldon’s Meemaw, his maternal grandmother, is often mentioned but never seen. She’s regarded highly by Sheldon, who often complains about his own family members. Back in 2010, Jim Parsons told Zap2It that he’d love to see iconic comedic actress Betty White play the role of his Meemaw.
Penny, who finally married Leonard this season, has gone the entire series without a last name. Her father has appeared on the show, played by Keith Carradine. Christine Baranski has made several appearances as Leonard’s mother, but his father has yet to show up. Kaley Cuoco told Zap2It in 2010 that she’d like to see a famous face from Friends make a Big Bang Theory entrance.
“Every week we hear something whacked about Penny’s family. She has this weird family and I’ve been waiting for the episode [in which we meet them]. My ideal mother would be Lisa Kudrow. I just think she should play my mother. I have this idea that she had me when she was really young.”
Simon Helberg, who plays Howard, told Press Association in October 2015 that he would like an episode where his character meets up with his father.
“I like it when the writers get deep because it’s hard to do that on a sitcom without hearing the cheesy violin or having that special episode feeling, and they do it so well and I love getting to learn about this character I’ve played and known for over seven years, and getting to discover things I never knew.”
The Big Bang Theory has shown a willingness and ability to deal with sensitive personal issues their characters experience. The season 9 winter finale featured Sheldon and Amy experiencing physical intimacy for the first time. Howard’s mother, Mrs. Wolowitz, passed away after the death of the actress who played her, Carol Ann Susi.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights on CBS.
[Feature photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment]