Is TBBT really The Sheldon Show?
I've seen a lot of comments on the other site about how Sheldon is taking over the show, so I thought I'd investigate further. Who is star of the TBBT? Is it really an ensemble show? Where are the stories focused and how much attention do each character get from the show.

In my opinion, Sheldon Cooper has always been the lead character on BB with a great supporting cast. He wasn't intended to be but the outstanding performance of Jim Parsons made it so. But how long have fans been aware of this?

I did a bit of digging. Here's a post I found from 2008 on the fansite.

“Thank you. Very refreshing to hear that this episode won't be almost completely Sheldon centric, which the last 4 episodes really were.”

This post was written on April 22 2008, and the fan is talking about Season One Ep 14!!!! here is the link.


It is my opinion that the TBBT became Sheldon's as early as 1.04 with The Luminous Fish Effect. But the recent dissatifaction with the airtime split got me wondering if there was something more going on. Are they sick of him? Has Molaro's attempt to dumb him down gone too far?

Going throught the plots of the show, I put together the following graphs to illustrate my point, (I do love a graph).

These graphs shows how many plots each character has been primary, from S1-9 (I am yet to do the current season). I have not counted plots that include everyone and do not have a central character. The dark blue are single-character focused A plots, the dark red are single-character focused B or C plots. The A plot is the story most central to the episode. It usually pairs with the name of the episode. The lighter colours are joint A or B plots which require two characters. Sheldon/Leonard, Leonard/Penny, Howard/Bernadette and so on. I have tried to make it as accurate as possible from the original descriptions of the episodes.

[Image: sheldon%20plots_zpsswqfujwd.jpg]
[Image: penny%20plots_zps7h5amiyo.jpg]
[Image: leonard%20plots_zpsoe8bevlw.jpg]
[Image: howard%20plots_zpslvyek34q.jpg]
[Image: raj%20plots_zpsv0hrgk8y.jpg]
[Image: amy%20plots_zpsrr9kesff.jpg]
[Image: bernadette%20plots_zpsc9ubolvv.jpg]
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The most surprising thing I found out from doing this exercise is how little Leonard is used. One could argue that Howard has had more central stories than Leonard has. Since S6, Leonard has had no single-focused stories. His marriage to Penny has relogated him to supporting cast. All Leonard plots are joint and both Howard and Raj outdo him in single-focus plots.

I was not at all surprised to see that Sheldon does indeed carry the weight of the show, with Penny second. Although Penny has had all B and C plots in S9 and there has been a big drop S9, also S4 when Amy was brought in and she wasn't dating Leonard.

Look how much there were using Sheldon in S9 - its about as high as S3 before they got the 2 extra characters. They are using everyone else less except Amy who has had a spike.
Wow, they literally pushed Sheldon and Penny off the cliff in S4.
(11-26-2016, 06:40 PM)CTR69 Wrote: Wow, they literally pushed Sheldon and Penny off the cliff in S4.

S4 was also a real ratings bomb compared to the other seasons. Leonard was dating Priya who no one liked. Penny was hardly featured as a primary character. They stopped doing Shenny scenes and introduced the 'girl scenes' which were initally excuriating poor.

My main discovery is that the canons do have a point. Leonard is nothing more than supporting cast now, he has been since S5 and they were not using Penny in S9 much at all. She's dropped to the lowest story rate ever.

Sheldon was carrying S9 with them trying to balance this off by bring up Amy. Howard was getting more story focus through his work and marriage but even that dropped in 9 although Howard is still doinh rarely well. Raj with his various dates stayed the same but he didn't have an A plot.
TBBT is not the "Sheldon Show". It is the "Lets trash Sheldon Show". I would rather Sheldon was a supporting background character as long as he retained his dignity and pride and sense of self. The alternative is horrendous.

So it is actually the "Leonard and Amy show" . They are two characters who get a pass for everything and anything under the sun, because they choose to wallow in misery and self pity and play victim.

Meanwhile Howard, Sheldon and Penny, despite not having an easy life, choose to be funny, confident and proud of themselves. So they are always dumped upon. Sheldon gets trashed the most, because he was the most self assured and independent character out of those three.

Nothing much to say about this show, except for the faint hope that it will finally end next year. On the other hand, it is quite possible they may continue to be a ratings success. But then again, how hard is it to appeal to the lowest common denominator ?
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Is it just a coincidence that during Season 9 Kaley was dealing with a lot of personal stuff? Or is something intentional going on with both the Leonard and Penny characters in advance of contract negotiations?

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