Lenny, Penny and Kenny.
In addition to his work on Dharma and Greg and Gilmore Girls, co-creator and former computer programmer Bill Prady got his start with Jim Henson Productions and is in love with many of the geeky properties celebrated on the show. The show's original working title was Lenny, Penny and Kenny. CBS rejected the original pilot, featuring a rude Penny, but saw enough potential to commission a second pilot.
She blinded me with science.
Yes, there were two pilots made for The Big Bang Theory. Before the Barenaked Ladies were involved, producers chose the Thomas Dolby hit "She Blinded Me with Science" as the show's theme music. In addition to penning the '80s hit, Dolby worked on records by Foreigner and Def Leppard and the Howard the Duck movie.
'The History of Everything' was almost acoustic.
Impressed by a Barenaked Ladies song about cosmological theory, The Big Bang Theory producers approached lead singer Ed Robertson about writing the show's theme. "The History of Everything" was originally twice as long. The show was ready to roll with the original acoustic version Robertson delivered, but the singer insisted on including the rest of his band. Producers liked the electric version even more.
The Andy Griffith Connection.
The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Andy Griffith Show are not only two of the most important shows ever on television. They also shared an Executive Producer. His name? Sheldon Leonard. That's right, two of the main characters on The Big Bang Theory were named in tribute to the legendary writer, director, actor, and producer.
The Roseanne connection.
When The Big Bang Theory premiered in September 2007, most viewers instantly recognized Johnny Galecki from the massively popular sitcom Roseanne, which ended its original nine season run a decade before. The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre was a writer and producer on Roseanne in the early '90s. He cast Roseanne vets Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert on The Big Bang Theory and brought some behind-the-scenes people along as well, including costume designer Mary T. Quigley.