On screen Penny may have been the original glue that bonded The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) characters together, but behind-the-scenes she’s a pretty big team leader too. After all, she was the one who organized flash mobs to surprise the producers, and she’s also the one who’s always leading the charge on cast selfies.
Like on Thursday, when Warner Bros. president Peter Roth officially dedicated Stage 25 to the show, renaming it The Big Bang Theory Stage. In the studio’s 90-plus year history, only four other shows have ever had stages renamed for them: Two and a Half Men, ER, Ellen and Friends. It was that last one that always stuck with Cuoco, and gave Thursday’s dedication extra special meaning for her.
“It’s amazing that we’ve gotten to this point. This sounds cheesy but I passed the Friends stage for 20 years as an actor, and I always thought that was so cool,” she said through tears later, beside the set’s infamous broken elevator. “So for this… I’m just a little shocked. It’s really special.”
Cuoco says she would have done the show for 20 more years if she could (Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, was reportedly the big factor in the series ending), and that nothing she ever does again could compare to a Big Bang show night—the night the cast performs the episode in front of a live studio audience.
“Show nights are really fun for us,” she said, adding that there have been “like 10” proposals over the years. “Our audience is a blast. That’s gonna be hard too… no matter what I do in the future our show nights will never feel like a Big Bang show night.”
There are still a few more episodes before the series goes dark for good, but small things are starting to get to Cuoco. She was sporting a gold “12” necklace on set, a trinket to represent 12 seasons of doing the series.
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🎥 Today was extremely special ! Warner Brothers stage 25 has been officially named the @bigbangtheory_cbs Stage from here on out! 5 shows in 90 years have received this honor at WB. We shoot right across from the Friends Stage and I was always amazed at the mark they made on tv history. Our show being given the same honor has completely overwhelmed me , and I’m just forever grateful to be part of it. Thank you @faye.woods for the fab hair, Vikki McCarter for the lovely makeup, and @bradgoreski @daniela_viviana for the glam! 💋
“Yes, this is for 12 seasons,” she confirmed when we asked. “Four of my girls who I work with here, my hair and makeup, my wardrobe, and [costume designer] Mary T. Quigley, I got them all 12 [necklaces].”
The actress admitted she still doesn’t know what the cast is doing for their parting gift to crew (a tradition on long-running shows), but that there have been many chats about it so that they can get it just right. Even the thought of the gift made her tear up all over again.
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“I’m already losing it. These last few episodes have been really heartbreaking. Look at all these people, the crew and people that don’t get attention… who do a lot more than we actually do. I just love seeing them every day,” she said. “I love seeing them every day and I’m so proud of them. This has been a huge team effort.”
Now let’s just hope it all goes out with a bang.