The Surprising Reason Mayim Bialik Returned To Acting With The Big Bang Theory

mayim bialik amy farrah fowler cbs the big bang theory

The Big Bang Theory is the biggest comedy on network TV, and Amy Farrah Fowler has become an instrumental member of the cast. In fact, it's hard to imagine what the show would be today if she hadn't entered Sheldon's life back in Season 3. As it turns out, however, actress Mayim Bialik didn't land the role because she was looking to break back into showbiz in a big way. She had a much simpler reason for returning to acting for The Big Bang Theory:

The true story is I was running out of health insurance and figured if I could even get a couple of acting jobs here and there, and if it's enough to get you your Screen Actors Guild Aftra health insurance, we would at least have insurance. My then husband was still working on his master's degree. I was teaching neuroscience for about five years. And I was not expecting to be a full-time actor. But this show called The Big Bang Theory brought me on.

Mayim Bialik joined The Big Bang Theory because acting jobs meant that she'd be able to guarantee her family health insurance. She had mostly left showbiz behind after the late 90s to pursue academia, and she even earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. That distinguished degree didn't provide the health insurance she and her family needed, so she was back into acting. Luckily, her decision to return to showbiz, as she revealed on Popcorn With Peter Travers (via ABC News), has worked out well for pretty much everybody. She has a very steady job, and Big Bang Theory fans have Amy Farrah Fowler.

Interestingly, Mayim Bialik didn't know that The Big Bang Theory was already a popular sitcom when she auditioned. She was under the impression that it was a game show of some sort, due to the fact that someone had told her that she was mentioned on it. Bialik was indeed mentioned on The Big Bang Theory back in Season 1, when Raj pitched "the girl who played TV's Blossom" with the neuroscience degree as a potential member of his team in a physics competition. Who could have guessed that she would join the show a couple of years later and stick around for the long run?

Amy Farrah Fowler certainly won't be going anywhere any time soon. Contract negotiations prior to the big renewal for Seasons 11 and 12 will keep Mayim Bialik employed, and presumably with a big raise over her salary from the earlier seasons. We don't have to worry that she won't be around to give an answer to Sheldon's unexpected proposal in the Season 10 finale. We obviously don't know if she'll say yes or no, but we should get to see the aftermath of the proposal no matter what.

The Big Bang Theory will return to CBS in the fall. Check out our rundowns of all the TV renewals and cancellations on network and cable/streaming to discover what else will and will not be back, and take a gander at our summer TV guide for what you can watch while we wait for fall to come.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).