The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show, along with Steven Molaro. All three also serve as head writers. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007.
Set in Pasadena, California, the show is centered on five characters: two roommate geniuses who work at the California Institute of Technology, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper; their neighbor across the hall Penny, a blonde waitress and aspiring actress. Leonard and Sheldon have equally geeky and socially awkward co-workers and friends Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer and non-PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Rajesh Koothrappali, an astrophysicist also working at Caltech. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense. Three other supporting characters have also been promoted to main cast status for a few episodes: Leslie Winkle, a Caltech colleague and, at different times, a lover of both Leonard and Howard; Bernadette Rostenkowski, a doctoral candidate (later doctor) in microbiology, part-time waitress alongside Penny, and Howard's love interest and fianceé; and Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist whose personality is very similar to Sheldon, and who later becomes close friends with Penny.
The show is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions. In August 2009, the sitcom won the best comedy series TCA award and Jim Parsons won the award for individual achievement in comedy. In 2010, the show won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy, while Parsons won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. On January 16, 2011, Parsons was awarded a Golden Globe by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical, an award that was presented by co-star Kaley Cuoco. On September 18, 2011, Parsons was again awarded an Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.