The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki Has A New TV Show In The Works That Sounds Right On Brand

For more than a decade, actor Johnny Galecki played one of the most watched characters on TV as The Big Bang Theory’s Leonard Hofstadter, and he’ll likely always be remembered as the sitcom’s resident genius. (Or one of them, anyway.) Since the show’s finale aired in 2019, Galecki has largely maintained a low profile on the acting front, and has instead focused more on staying busy behind the scenes, both with TV projects and with his growing family. While it’s still unclear if he’ll be taking any acting on for it, Galecki is reteaming with his former network home CBS for a potential new comedy series that will likely feature lots of enjoyably dorky Big Bang-esque jokes.

Johnny Galecki has partnered with former Will & Grace executive producer John Quaintance on a workplace comedy titled AOK. According to Deadline, this will be a half-hour, multi-cam sitcom set somewhere within the year 1991, and will revolve around a ragtag group of young employees working for an up-and-coming Internet company. This is obviously before the advent of just about every modern web-based advancement, so pro-o-obably expect a whole lot of jokes about slow dial-up and phones with cords.

The characters will be a close-knit and friendly circle, with relationships that do go beyond platonic as they put their combined efforts into the future of technology and communication. It sounds like it’ll be more than just a joke-joke-joke set-up, and it’s easy to visualize AOK as the comedic counterpart to AMC’s critically lauded Halt and Catch Fire.

Here’s what Johnny Galecki had to say about the new show and its dedicated setting:

This specific period of time is personal to many, including all of us involved so it’s important to make the show feel as authentic as possible. We are excited to reimagine the 90’s sitcom through a modern lens as John has created something truly special. We hope to surprise people in a familiar place with characters you will fall in love with.

John Quaintance — who also served as a writer and EP on Workaholics, Dakota Johnson’s Ben and Kate and the 2015 comedy Hot Pursuit — will serve as the creator and head writer on AOK. Johnny Galecki, meanwhile, will take on an executive producer role through his company Alcide Bava Productions.

At this time, it doesn’t appear that Galecki will be taking on any starring roles in AOK, which probably makes sense, considering the characters are already pegged as being on the younger, fresh-out-of-college side. Still, I’m sure there will be someone around in an advisor role, and it would be pretty smart for that someone to be Galecki, assuming the scheduling and whatnot would work out. And, obviously, assuming he’d actually want to do it. 

The only on-camera acting work Johnny Galecki has taken on following The Big Bang Theory came on ABC’s The Conners, where he reprised his Roseanne-originated role of David Healy for a pair of Season 2 episodes. While some fans of that sitcom likely hoped he would bring David back in more of a full-time capacity, that hasn’t happened. When CinemaBlend spoke with The Conners’ showrunner Bruce Helford earlier this year, he said the door is always open for Galecki to return, though it’s not exactly an expectation.

Yeah, you know, the stars do have to align. He's busy. Johnny's got a producing career now. So he's a busy guy getting other shows off the ground. And just coordinating with that... He's of course welcome anytime he wants to do episodes, because he's sort of part of the big family of the show, obviously.

It’s hard to know whether AOK will get ordered up to series or not, but here’s hoping for the best case scenario. He was previously behind the development of an eSports comedy at NBC and a TV reiteration of the National Lampoon film series, but neither one of those projects has come to light. At least we know Galecki is still staying in touch with some of his former co-stars, with Kaley Cuoco appearing to be the closest

While waiting to hear about the future of AOK on CBS, don’t forget all 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory are available to stream now on HBO Max, and our 2021 Fall TV schedule is full of premieres that have yet to arrive before the end of the year. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.