The Big Bang Theory is an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom served as executive producers on the series, along with Steven Molaro. All three also served as head writers. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007, and concluded on May 16, 2019, having broadcast 279 episodes over 12 seasons.The show originally centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California: Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), both physicists at Caltech, who share an apartment; Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's similarly geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Over time, supporting characters were promoted to starring roles, including neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), and comic book store owner Stuart Bloom (Kevin Sussman).
The show was filmed in front of a live audience, and produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions. It received mixed reviews throughout its first season, but reception was more favorable in the second and third seasons. Despite early mixed reviews, seven seasons were ranked within the top ten of the final season ratings, and it ultimately reached the no.