Project: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory
The Panel: Moderator Melissa Rauch (Bernadette on the show), surprise midway appearance from Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Steve Molaro (executive producer and showrunner), Bill Prady (co-creator and executive producer), Dave Goetsch (co-EP), Eric Kaplan (co-EP), Jim Reynolds (co-EP), Steve Holland (co-EP), Maria Ferrari (co-EP), and David Saltzberg (science adviser)
Footage Screened: In a pre-taped video, Stephen Hawking – who guest-starred on season 6 – introduced the panel by speaking the lyrics to the show’s theme song through his voice synthesizer. A season 6 sizzle reel highlighted the show’s geekiest moments (which is saying something), including their Star Trek: Next Generation photo shoot and the ladies’ argument over the power of Thor’s Hammer. Watch both videos below:
Snap Judgment: The Big Bang Theory gang has been coming to Comic-Con since the beginning, and it was obvious that they have a tight-knit relationship with their fans – and those fans clearly relish seeing characters like themselves on TV every week. “I know everyone says they have the best fans in the world, but they’re misleading you, because this show has the best fans in the world,” Galecki told the Ballroom 20 crowd.
The Big Revelations: The panel was light on reveals, since production doesn’t begin until next month, but the audience squeezed a few nuggets out of the tight-lipped writers.
+ The biggest question on fans’ minds: Will Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) ever consummate their relationship? Or, as Rauch put it, “Will they do the nasty?” A writer then quipped: “Can you be more explicit?” Steve Holland referenced the couple’s steamy RPG scene from season 6 (included in the highlight reel below), saying, “Once you erotically massage someone’s nose, we all know what happens next.” Jim Reynolds later added of their courtship, “Part of its charm is that it moves at a glacial pace. That way, the show can go on a lot longer!” he laughed. “I mean, a lot of us have kids who need to go to college.”
+ Will we ever see the elusive Mrs. Wolowitz in person? The writers are leaning toward no, saying Howard’s mom, who is known only for her screeching voice hollering from another room, is “like Bigfoot” at this point.
+ When the panel kicked off, the only star in sight was moderator Melissa Rauch. But about 20 minutes in, a mysterious fan, wearing a circa-Return of the Jedi Princess Leia costume, asked a question, and when the answer didn’t satisfy “Leia,” he/she was asked by Rauch, “Who are you?” The mask came off to reveal Johnny Galecki, who responded with a smile, “Someone who loves you.”
+ When asked if there was any sci-fi the writers discovered through researching for the show, Steve Molaro responded, “I never liked Green Lantern, and I continue not to,” which elicited a combo of laughs and boos. “It’s like if you had all the powers of an iPhone and called yourself ‘The Battery.’” The joke continued when a fan approached the mic later wearing a Green Lantern T-shirt and a scowl on his face.
+ A big “awww” moment happened when a costumed boy named Jonah stepped up to the mic and revealed that coming to the Big Bang Theory panel at Comic-Con was his Make-A-Wish request. He had a pretty spot-on question too, asking if the writers had ever thought of doing an episode at the San Diego pop-culture fest. Bill Prady explained that a combination of their production schedule (they don’t get started until August each year) and filming on a stage made it tricky. “[Show creator] Chuck [Lorre] always says, ‘We’re an indoor cat.’” But they haven’t ruled it out!
Choice Quote: “I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there,” Hawking said in the intro video. “I got a flat tire.”
Most Incisive Audience Question: “What’s harder to write: The science or the geekery?” one fan asked. Steve Holland gave props to David Saltzberg, the show’s science adviser, saying the UCLA professor of physics and astronomy pretty much covers the science. “Believe it or not, we’re all pretty comfortable with the geekery,” he joked.
The Big Bang Theory returns to CBS on Thursday, September 26, at 8 p.m. ET.