“The Big Bang Theory” ran for 12 seasons on CBS, starting in 2007 as just another major network comedy and rising to become one of the most popular sitcoms in television history.
The show revolves around the lives and relationships of five characters living in Pasadena, California. Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress, moves into a new apartment across the hall from two bright but socially awkward Caltech physicists, Sheldon and Leonard, who love all things “nerd” but aren’t always the best at communicating. Penny nonetheless manages to form a friendship with her new neighbors and their friends Howard and Raj.
The goofy laugh-track comedy riffs off the cultural collision between the four young men – who are deeply engrossed in science fiction, comic books, and other quintessentially geeky passions – and Penny, who doesn’t know much about the things that interest them.
The series got off to a slow start with viewership but after a few seasons it started to pick up considerable steam. During its fourth season it became the highest rated comedy on television, beating out “Two and a Half Men” which had held the top spot for the previous eight years. (These are the best sitcoms of all time.)
To determine the best episodes of “The Big Bang Theory,” 24/7 Tempo reviewed user ratings for all 280 episodes of the show as of April 2022 on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. In cases of tied scores, the episodes with more votes in IMDb were ranked higher. Data on season and episode number and original airdate also came from IMDb.
The season with the highest number of top-rated episodes is the third one, with six, followed by seasons two and four, with four each. However, the final episode, “The Stockholm Syndrome,” was the highest rated of all and is considered one of the best TV series finales ever.
Since its explosion in popularity it has become one of the most recognizable television comedies in recent years and got a spinoff in “Young Sheldon.” Though the show hasn’t yet found the same success as the original it has been renewed by CBS for a sixth and seventh season.
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