Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
No amount of cajoling or coaxing lured hyper-cagey producers or cast into the spoiler zone at tonight’s PaleyFest 2013 event featuring CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. Moderated by NCIS star Pauley Perrette, the panel was big on camaraderie but small on the news front as series co-creators and exec producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady plus exec producer Steven Molaro joined cast members Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch for a lively and entertaining discussion.
Producers and cast were resolutely tightlipped but that didn’t deter Perrette and fans in the audience at the Saban or in movie theaters nationwide for a Fathom Events live broadcast from trying. When asked if they’re considering any future geek celebrity guest spots, Prady deadpanned that they’d considered Jorge Bergoglio but with his ascension today as Pope the only show that could afford him is NCIS. When asked whether Amy (Bialik) and Sheldon (Parsons) will ever consummate their relationship, the producers would only say it’s something they’re considering, prompting Parsons to joke that he and Bialik “can’t wait to rehearse”.
While no spoilers were spilled, stories from behind the scenes were told or rehashed, allowing the cast to show off their comic timing and chemistry. Discussing the famous flash mob organized by Cuoco, an event she said half-jokingly was “the greatest moment of my life”, Galecki said it was evidence of the tremendous friendship between cast and crew. Lorre at one point called Molaro “the beating heart of the show” when talking about the current season’s focus on relationships between characters. Later, the cast elicited sustained applause from the audience when they singled out the writers (who were in attendance) for praise.
Also evident was the huge devotion the show inspires in fans. In the Saban audience were fans who traveled from as far away as the Philippines and Brazil to attend. That kind of devoted fandom is probably the reason why, when asked how long the producers expect the show to continue, they referred to a recent comment Parsons made that it could last at least 10 years. Given that Big Bang Theory is currently the highest rated TV comedy with an average of 18.9 million viewers this season, that seems within the realm of possibility.