Why Kaley Cuoco Is Okay Knowing 'Nothing Will Ever Compare' To Big Bang Theory's Success

The Big Bang Theory Penny Hofstadter Kaley Cuoco CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

If you thought The Big Bang Theory was a special one-of-a-kind series, you are not alone. Star Kaley Cuoco herself is pretty certain that no other show will come close to the success it achieved during its twelve-season run. In 2019, the comedy set the milestone record of being the longest-running multi-cam sitcom, and that is not the only aspect that sets the series apart. It has been over a year since The Big Bang Theory said goodbye, with Cuoco set to debut her new HBO Max series The Flight Attendant, and the actress has reflected on why she's comfortable with knowing Big Bang's success can't be replicated.

Kaley Cuoco is currently gearing up for a departure from her time as Penny, sidestepping more sitcom fun for a shot at something more deadly, if not entirely more serious. A dramedy with a crime thriller twist, The Flight Attendant is set to hit streaming via HBO Max later this month, which means promotion for it is in full-tilt. In looking back on her high-salary days on The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco told the Los Angeles Times:

That experience — the cast, the amount of time spent together, the pay, the ratings — like, it was nuts, it was unheard of. That was so special and will be a part of my heart for the rest of my life. Nothing will ever compare to that, and I think knowing that helps me separate that from what I’m doing now, which is so different and new.

A lot can change in more than a year. As The Big Bang Theory wound down, Kaley Cuoco was outspoken about not being in any rush to leave it behind. The show was still in quite a sweet spot for her and her career when the decision was made (mostly by Jim Parsons) to call it quits. It would definitely be hard to leave the money, the friendships and the comfortable gig behind. But just because the sitcom has ended, that not mean that Cuoco has let her career come to a standstill.

Kaley Cuoco has voiced Harley Quinn for the DC fave's animated streaming series, for one, and the ball has only kept rolling for her from there. It is kinda cool that Cuoco has acknowledged how herculean and singular a success The Big Bang Theory became, as it should help keep her from developing unrealistic expectations about how her career continues. That doesn't mean she's completely calm and nerve-free regarding her future. Cuoco acknowledged as much, saying:

I’m a little bit nervous, because, obviously, how can I not be a little bit nervous? People have seen me in a certain way for a very long time. But I’m thrilled for people to see this because, I mean, we finished this thing in the middle of a pandemic. That alone deserves a cheers right there.

It will be an adjustment for her fans to see Kaley Cuoco playing a more serious role, considering her comic background. Before The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco starred in another sitcom: 8 Simple Rules, which ended in 2005, two years before The Big Bang Theory came along in 2007. Fast forward to 2020, and Cuoco is heading back to television for the wild-looking and suspenseful ride that is The Flight Attendant.

Kaley Cuoco has said that she was not worried about finding her next role when The Big Bang Theory came to an end. She certainly found one quickly, and because her production company Yes, Norman is behind it, she also played a bigger role in bringing the character to life. It is not anything like her former show, so comparisons should not be an issue. Cuoco’s move is daring, since she could have easily lined up another sitcom on someone else's dime, but she chose to pave her own path instead. Hopefully, her gutsy move pays off!

You can see Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant when it begins streaming on Thursday, November 26, on HBO Max. As you wait for Cuoco’s new show to start boarding viewers, check out this fall’s premieres. You can also check out Cuoco as Penny on The Big Bang Theory by binge-watching episodes on The Flight Attendant’s streaming destination: HBO Max.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.