The Big Bang Theory underwent a big change between Season 10 and Season 11, which kicks off on Sept. 25. Longtime showrunner Steven Molaro moved over to spin-off Young Sheldon full-time, and executive producer Steve Holland took over showrunner duties.
But Holland has written for the show since Season 3, so he knows how to make Big Bang, and Molaro and co-creator Chuck Lorre are still involved. What I'm saying is, it's the same show in Season 11, and fans won't notice any hiccups. In fact, Holland's tenure starts with the resolution of a cliffhanger left over from Season 10 — Amy's (Mayim Bialik) answer to Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) marriage proposal.
TV Guide talked to Holland about what's coming up in Season 11, when we'll see some TBBT/Young Sheldon crossover, and if we should be worried that Amy won't say yes.
What's being the showrunner been like for you?
Steve Holland: It's been great. It's been exciting and somewhat terrifying and super rewarding. The nice thing is that I've been on this show for a long time, and the writing staff has been together for a long time. Chuck and Steve are still around, so I have a good safety net going for me. So far we've shot the first four episodes of the season and they've gone really well.
Is the show any different under you?
Holland: Oh, it's so much better! No, honestly, in Season 11 at this point these characters have taken on lives of their own. My goal coming in was not to put any sort of stamp on the show, but just to sort of honor these characters and who they are and try to protect them and keep them from changing too much, keep them changing just enough to make it interesting. But no, I hope we won't see a big shift.
What are some of the conflicts that are going to come up this season?
Holland: Obviously we have the fallout of the season finale and the cliffhanger of the proposal, so dealing with the answer to that and the repercussions of that answer has sort of been the driving force in the first part of the season.
One of the next big milestones for the show to approach now would be a baby for Leonard and Penny.
Holland: Obviously Howard and Bernadette have a baby and Sheldon has proposed to Amy, so that's certainly going to bring up some things for Leonard and Penny about what the next step in their relationship is. But we already have a baby and a Sheldon on the show, so I don't know if we need any more babies right now.
Season 10 ended on a cliffhanger, but how worried should we be?
Holland: How worried do you need to be to tune in?
At the Television Critics Association press tour, Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro talked about how Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory might interact with each other. Has there been any talk?
Holland: They're still involved on this show and I'm aware of what's going on on their show, but I think right now they're just focused on getting their show up and running and making it have its own unique voice and be its own thing. So we don't have any plans for a big crossover right now, but there are certainly things that can happen on that show in Sheldon's childhood that he can reference on our show as a way to tie the two together. And then maybe down the line in the future there could be a bigger thing of seeing someone from Sheldon's past. But honestly I think that they're really just focused on getting that show up and running and making it great, and we'll worry about the crossovers down the line.
Who are some guest stars who might be popping up on The Big Bang Theory this season?
Holland: We're only four into the season so far, but we definitely have Riki Lindhome, who played Dr. Nowitzki, who kissed Sheldon, she'll be back in the premiere episode. There's another guest star in the premiere, but I think it might be a spoiler, so I don't want to say it, but there is someone that Sheldon realizes whose permission he needs before he can ask Amy to marry him. So we do a little bit of a flashback and see that when he left the kiss and Caltech but before he gets to Princeton to propose, he did make a stop to talk to somebody. And then moving forward, right now we have a few old favorites who are coming back. We're gonna have Wil Wheaton back in an episode this year and we always love having him. Brian Posehn will be back around this season. And there's another guest star who's a returning guest star that I'm excited about but I don't think it's official yet so I can only tease that that is happening.
Regina King is back too, for the first time in a long time.
Holland: She's great, and we've tried to have her back earlier, but she's so busy all the time that it's really tricky to get her on the show, but whenever she's available she always loves coming to do it and we always love having her. So I was so glad that it worked out.
The Big Bang Theory Season 11 premieres Monday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c on CBS.
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