Kaley Cuoco Found Her First Big TV Role After The Big Bang Theory's Penny

kaley cuoco penny the big bang theory finale
(Image credit: cbs press)

For the majority of her lengthy career so far, Kaley Cuoco has been synonymous with sitcom stardom, buoyed heavily by the success of CBS' The Big Bang Theory. That half-hour comedy is now a thing of the past, following that big series finale, and Cuoco has landed a completely different kind of project for her first follow-up role to Big Bang's Penny.

The Big Bang Theory's studio Warner Bros. TV has officially ordered to series the previously in-development dramatic thriller The Flight Attendant, per an expansive deal between Kaley Cuoco and the studio. The new show, which will boast Cuoco as its star, is the latest pickup set to debut on the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service. What's more, Cuoco will also serve as executive producer for The Flight Attendant, with Greg Berlanti's Berlanti Prods. also on board to produce.

Based on the bestselling novel by Chris Bohjalian, The Flight Attendant kicks off with the titular character, whose name is Cassandra Bowden, waking up in a hotel room in Dubai, hungover and alongside a dead body that she seemingly knows nothing about. Rather than proving her innocence to the police, though, Cassandra hops onboard a flight to New York, where FBI agents are there to inquire about that extremely curious layover.

Once the pieces begin falling into place, Cassandra starts to realize that without any proof hinting at an alternative scenario, she might actually have killed the person in her hotel room. Definitely not the kind of situation that Penny, Leonard or anyone else on The Big Bang Theory would find themselves in. (Except for maybe Fictionalized Wil Wheaton.)

Big Bang Theory Series Finale: What's Next For The Big Bang Theory Cast

Everyone should probably get ready for a lot more of Kaley Cuoco in the near future thanks to her new deal with Warner Bros. TV. According to Deadline, it includes a two-year pod deal for her company Yes, Norman Productions. As well, there's a "talent holding provision" keeping the door open for more acting parts for Cuoco.

Per the deal, Warner Bros. TV will be interested in setting up various new projects, from multi-cam sitcoms to hour-long dramas and then some, with Cuoco in mind to head up at least one of those upcoming projects. It wasn't clear from the initial report if The Flight Attendant is being conceived as a multi-season series or something with more of an open-and-shut vibe, though Cuoco herself has called it a miniseries in the past.

In any case, not having to film 22+ episodes a season anymore should help keep her calendar a little more open than it has been for the past dozen years. I think it's great that Cuoco is broadening her TV talents in a post-Big Bang world, and I already look forward to seeing what comes after The Flight Attendant.

Kaley Cuoco's most hardcore fans don't have to wait for The Flight Attendant to check out her next big project, which actually started coming together before The Big Bang Theory was completed. Cuoco will be voicing the titular villainess for DC Universe's animated Harley Quinn series, and it's a project that she's pumped for audiences to see. DC Universe hasn't finalized a premiere date for that just yet, but don't worry, Puddin', it'll be here in 2019.

With no date set yet for WarnerMedia's streaming service to debut, The Flight Attendant understandably also doesn't have any dates locked down for when viewers will be able to get their first peek at Kaley Cuoco trying her hand at a TV thriller. In the meantime, The Big Bang Theory reruns are currently airing sporadically on TBS and other channels.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.