Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Even Neuroscientist Mayim Bialik Can't Explain 'Big Bang' Popularity

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Even Neuroscientist Mayim Bialik Can't Explain 'Big Bang' Popularity

Article excerpt

Brainy Bialik can't explain 'Big Bang' craze

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The most watched TV show in Canada -- by far -- is "The Big Bang Theory." It has been topping weekly Canadian ratings charts for years.

The six-year-old CBS sitcom regularly draws between 3.5 and 4 million viewers a week Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CTV. The Canadian network also airs reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" weeknights during the supper hour. Those reruns outdraw much of what is seen in prime time across all networks in Canada.

CTV is even using the series to sway viewers away from CBC during the hockey stoppage. Saturday marathons of the comedy were being billed as "Big Bang Night in Canada" until CBC complained. They are currently outdrawing CBC's "Your Pick" classic hockey reruns by more than a five-to-one margin.

The series is also a popular draw on CTV's specialty channel The Comedy Network.

Usually when a network over-uses a series to this extent it drives it into the ground. The famous example is "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire," a runaway success in the '90s until ABC started airing it four nights a week across its schedule.

Yet "Big Bang" remains bullet proof. Why can't Canadians get enough of it?

The question was put to an actual neuroscientist: Mayim Bialik. She also happens to star on the series as Sheldon's brilliant but frustrated girlfriend Amy.

"I think they're laughing at us, that's the problem," she deadpanned at a CBS press party held at the most recent Television Critics Association gathering in Los Angeles.

Doing dead pan is a Bialik specialty. The 36-year-old has been using that acting trick ever since her days as a child star on the early '90s sitcom "Blossom."

Bialik really has no idea why the series gets a bigger bang in Canada.

"The Canadian and United States sense of humour is similar," she observes. "I don't think there's anything mystical about that.

"Maybe," she speculates, "people are more inclined to like nerdy people in Canada."

It may also help that the series' theme song is performed by the nerdiest of Canadian bands, the Barenaked Ladies. …

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