The series hovered almost the entire season over 12 million live viewers, at the same level as Game of Thrones!

A series of physicists populated by nerdy geeks , The Big Bang Theory , whose latest episode will air on Thursday, seemed intended for a small audience, but has established itself as one of the most watched in the world.

Whether the two heroes Sheldon and Amy win or not their Nobel Prize, theme recurring in this twelfth and last season, TBBT hangs at the peak of his glory.

The series hovered almost the entire season above 12 million live viewers (over 17 million counting the deferred), at the same level as Game of Thrones and at the top of US television.

According to Parrot, The Big Bang Theory was one of the five most popular series in the world last year.

It’s Sheldon’s fault

The broadcaster, CBS, would have liked to continue the adventure, but the actor Jim Parsons, who plays the hero Sheldon Cooper, said stop, ringing the end of the game.

For the producer and scriptwriter Stephen Engel, who worked on thirty episodes during the first seasons, the series owes much of its success to Sheldon.

“It was the happy mix of a character and an actor, which was just magic,” he said in an interview with AFP.

As brilliant scientist as he was misaligned for life in society, Sheldon was “the perfect marriage of a point of view, humor, a voice and an actor that made the character burst” Says Stephen Engel.

Advent of  geek culture

But Sheldon does not explain by himself how a series that did not even appear in the top 50 audiences at the end of its first season, and never found favor with critics, could last longer than Friends , or Seinfeld .

The general opinion was that TBBT played the geek card , that of the fans of series, video games and obscure subgenres embodied by Sheldon, Leonard, Howard or Raj.

For a long time synonymous with marginality, this culture has become dominant thanks to the sagas The Lord of the Rings , Star Wars and Game of Thrones , expanding the audience of TBBT .

“In the wake of Friends , there was a tendency to put as many cute people in the same room in the hope that people would want to watch,” says Stephen Engel. ”  Big Bang Theory decided that because they were nerds , we could take the funniest actors we could find. They did not have to be beautiful. “