The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco Reveals How She Wished The Series Finale Was Different For Penny

Even though it’s been three years since The Big Bang Theory ended, new information is still coming out about the show. With a new oral history book on the CBS sitcom released called The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series by Jessica Radloff, secrets from behind the scenes are being revealed that fans had no idea about. When discussing the series finale, Kaley Cuoco wishes she could change one thing about how it ended for Penny.

Fans will remember that the series finale of The Big Bang Theory included a big announcement from Leonard and Penny: they’re expecting. The reveal brought screams and cheers from the live audience, and probably plenty of those watching from home had the same reaction. However, Cuoco confesses her true feelings about the pregnancy in the new book, and it’s pretty understandable (via TVLine):

I actually wished that they did not [make Penny pregnant], because I loved that message [of Penny not wanting kids] so much. It was cute how the writers did it at the end with Penny’s surprise pregnancy, and all in all, I’m glad, but I was actually voting for her not to [get pregnant].

Since Penny seemed to be very adamant about not wanting to have kids at the beginning of Season 12, it makes sense that Kaley Cuoco feels like that, and it’s very likely she isn’t the only one. While it is a nice moment in the BBT series finale between Penny and Leonard and knowing that they’re going to be parents, it does make me wonder how different the finale would have been if Penny wasn’t pregnant.

Executive producer Steve Holland shares Cuoco’s sentiments, noting that while it was a great moment, there was a missing step that should have happened before the reveal, but overall, he likes the way the series ended with Leonard and Penny:

We talked about whether there were other ways to do it, like what if she had a pregnancy scare that turned out to be false and she was disappointed. We talked about ways to get her to that moment that didn’t feel quite so abrupt. I wish we had Penny take one more step before we got to the finale. The way the last episodes broke out, we just didn’t get there. But with that said, I do think it was a great landing place for [Penny and Leonard]. We really wanted to honor that relationship, as well as the ‘Our babies will be smart and beautiful’ line from the pilot as a way to tie it back together.

Those other storylines would have definitely been interesting to watch, and put a different spin on the surprise pregnancy ending for Penny. There's no denying that the pregnancy did bring the show full circle, however, as fans will remember Leonard's line all the way back in the pilot about their future babies. He had no way of knowing what would happen twelve seasons later, which makes it more fun on looking back.

Of course, there were plenty of events early on that could have changed the entire course of the show. For one, someone else entirely could have played Penny. There were four other actresses up for the role of Sheldon and Leonard’s neighbor, including Marisa Tomei, Tara Reid, Elizabeth Berkley, and Canadian actress Amanda Walsh. The character was intended to be very different at the time, as the role was for "Katie," not Penny. It is definitely always interesting to hear what could have been, whether it’d be actors or storylines, and the success of the sitcom makes me think that the direction that they went in was the best choice.

The Big Bang Theory is long over, but it’s clear that people will keep talking about it for years to come. Although they may not be able to change storylines anymore, perhaps there will be a reboot in a decade or two that will continue this beloved story. At least there is still Young Sheldon with Easter eggs, and the series also still has surprise Big Bang Theory cameos from time to time, and we get to learn some new stuff about the group. 

Be sure to check out shows like The Big Bang Theory if you love the CBS series!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.