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Kaley Cuoco Might Not Have Been On ‘The Big Bang Theory’ If It Wasn’t For A ‘Hated’ Character In The Unaired Pilot

The Big Bang Theory‘s unaired pilot isn’t as infamous as the original first episode of Game of Thrones, but everyone involved sounds relieved that it never aired on TV.

The pilot “didn’t work for a bunch of reasons,” co-creator Bill Prady told Entertainment Weekly in a respective for the CBS sitcom, which premiered 15 years ago this month. “In the first pilot, the female character [who, at that point, was named Katie] is kind of rough. She’s dangerous in a way and wasn’t very nice to the guys.”

And the in-studio audience wasn’t very nice to Katie.

“Yeah, the audience hated her,” co-creator Chuck Lorre said. Prady agreed, but “what was amazing was that they were defending Leonard and Sheldon so much.” Lorre continued, “Yeah, we didn’t realize early on that the audience viewed them as children. They were very naive and childlike, regardless of how intelligent they were. They were very vulnerable, and the audience didn’t want a toxic presence around them.”

That’s when Katie (played by Amanda Walsh) was re-written to Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and it “made her much more charmed by the guys and kind to them, as opposed to a woman who would take advantage of them,” Lorre said. Both creators agree that Walsh was “terrific,” but “the role was misconceived. It was our responsibility.”

Prady continued:

“She was actually a very sweet person, and it was a lot of work for her to become that rough character. Afterward, she wanted to come back in for the new version of Penny, but she had been so identified as that first character that it wasn’t able to happen.”

It’s only fair for Cuoco to cast Walsh in the next season of HBO Max’s terrific Harley Quinn. The time is right for Lady Clay to make an appearance.

(Via EW)