With the final season of the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory coming to an end, there are some loose ends that the writers say they will not be tying up, and that includes the mystery of Penny’s maiden name. Time is running out to tell all of the stories that the cast and writers wanted to tell for the characters, and this was addressed at the final WonderCon for the Big Bang gang.
The Hollywood Reporter says that in some ways the cast and crew behind The Big Bang Theory got lucky as they knew the show was winding down, and had time to prepare for it to end on their own terms.
Executive producer Steve Holland shared his gratitude at WonderCon at a panel moderated by frequent co-star Wil Wheaton.
“In a lucky way, we knew it was the final season pretty early … it gave us a lot of time to talk about where we wanted to leave these characters.”
But no matter how much notice a show gets, saying goodbye while satisfying all of the fans and actors is a tough order. The BBT team says that they were happy to get some guidance in this matter from Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of Friends.
The good samaritan was apparently a "Big Bang Theory" viewer: The wallet was turned in along with a piece of paper that read "Penny," the name of Cuoco's character on the show. https://t.co/Cx2Hz1hMoc
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 29, 2019
Writers from The Big Bang Theory say that got a chance to chat with Kauffman at an event, and she likened ending a show to a breakup, but that you need to go through it because you need to be able to fall in love with the next show you write for.
Executive producer Steve Molaro explains that in an odd way, you have to have ideas about the end from the beginning, the “death of a theory.” He says that at this point, most of the stories writers wanted to tell have been executed, but there is one that won’t be told, and that’s the tale of Penny’s maiden name. For the entire series, until her wedding to Leonard, Penny has only been known by her first name.
Molaro says that at some point, they decided not to give her one.
“[Eventually] we got nervous and superstitious about giving her one. Even though the show is about to draw to a close, it will always be [her married name] Hofstadter.”
But fans of The Big Bang Theory won’t have to go cold turkey, as they still have the prequel series, Young Sheldon to get their early taste of how Dr. Cooper came to be.