5+ Casting Decisions That Saved 'Big Bang Theory' (5+ That Hurt The Show)

One of the things that helped to make The Big Bang Theory such an unforgettable show was its cast of characters. But certain casting decisions don't always work out as you would hope them to.

That's why I've compiled these 5+ casting decisions that saved The Big Bang Theory (and 5+ that hurt the show). Have a look and see which side of the fence you fall on.

SAVED: Wil Wheaton as Wil Wheaton


Sheldon Cooper has had more than his fair share of arch-nemesis over the course of the series. But none more iconic than the great Wil Wheaton!

It was such a treat to be able to watch Wil and Sheldon's friendship evolve.

HURT: Dean Norris as Col. Williams


I'm a Dean Norris fan, so I say this with a very heavy heart. But the character of Col. Williams always seemed so far-fetched to me.

The satire feels redundant, almost like The Big Bang Theory is trying to deliberately poke fun at Hogan's Heroes.

SAVED: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz


Though we never got to actually sorry Howard's mother, she always made her presence known (and heard).

Her smoky baritone shriek was a staple of the show, especially in those formative early years.

HURT: Sara Rue as Stephanie Barnett


Stephanie was nothing if not a place holder for Penny. The lack of chemistry between her and Leonard was abundantly clear from their very first meeting.

Eventually, Stephanie just kind of faded away — with little to no explanation as to what happened between her and Leonard.

SAVED: Christine Baranski as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter


I absolutely love Leonard's mom. Christine Baranski positively shines as the stoic, emotionless matriarch of the Hofstadter clan.

Watching her play Rock Band with Sheldon is easily one of the highlights of the entire series.

HURT: Kevin Sussman as Stuart Bloom


I know that placing Stuart on the HURT list is going to raise a few eyebrows. But take a moment to really examine what he brings to the table. It shouldn't take long — because it's nothing.

Stuart is a broken record, a one-trick pony, and an annoyingly needy character.

SAVED: Brian Thomas Smith as Zack Johnson


Of course, I'm happy Leonard and Penny wound up together in the end. But boy was I really pulling for Zack.

Brian Thomas Smith plays the lovable dope to perfection, and if you ask me, she and Zack make a lot more sense than Penny and Leonard.

HURT: Courtney Henggeler as Missy Cooper


When it comes to the strengths of Courtney Henggeler, accents are not one of them. That's not a slight, it's just a fact.

Why did Missy need an accent anyway? It's not like Sheldon speaks with one, so why does she?

SAVED: John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke


Who can resist Bare-wee Kripke! That lovable lisp gets me every time. John Ross Bowie is a sheer genius and the perfect antagonist for Sheldon Cooper.

I'll never forget the time he filled Sheldon's office with Helium; priceless!

HURT: Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle


From the very first moment that I saw Leslie Winkle waltz into Leonard's life, I thought of only one thing: Darlene Connor.

For me, casting Sara Gilbert is a far too obvious and maligned wink at Roseanne fans.

SAVED: Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz

I've yet to meet a fan of The Big Bang Theory who isn't head-over-heels in love with Bernadette. She's the total package: caring, sweet, funny, and formidable!

When Melissa Rauch joined the cast, that's when the show really found its stride.

HURT: Brian Posehn as Bert Kibbler


My problems with Bert Kibbler aren't all that dissimilar to Stuart. He does one thing and one thing only: annoy the audience.

Normally, I can appreciate the deadpan delivery of Brian Posehn. But on The Big Bang Theory he just seems out of place.

SAVED: Kaley Cuoco as Penny

Kaley Cuoco is down to earth, unabashedly unapologetic, and precisely the type of person you'd want to have a wine night with.

This is probably why Penny always came across so naturally with the audience; they're one and the same.

HURT: Aarti Mann as Priya Koothrappali


I know Aarti Mann wasn't necessarily supposed to be a well-liked character. So I suppose in that sense, she succeeded.

Priya was nothing more than a bossy elitist. Thank goodness she didn't stick around for long.

SAVED: Mayim Bialik as Amy Farah Fowler


Come on, who else could it possibly be? There isn't a single character who can match wits with Mayim Bialik.

She helped create not only the greatest recurring character of the series but arguably one of the best that television has ever seen.