Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory. Read at your own risk!
Did Amy say yes to Sheldon’s proposal?
After the long hiatus, The Big Bang Theory quickly revealed the answer: Yes, Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are now engaged! But that wasn’t even the biggest news in the season 11 premiere. Much to her chagrin, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) is pregnant again. What’s next for the gang? EW turned to executive producer Steve Holland to get the scoop.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Amy said yes to Sheldon. Was there even a possibility of her saying no?
STEVE HOLLAND: When we were breaking the episode, it was tricky. It was a cliffhanger, but it’s hard to imagine a world where she’s going to say no. We thought the kiss put some ambiguity out there, if she found out about the kiss. And we toyed with ideas — if she found out about the kiss, would that make her delay her answer or not? Ultimately, we felt that was just a bit of a tease. This is a thing she’s wanted for so long that it felt like we were going to have to gin up reasons for her to say no.
What does the prep for Amy and Sheldon’s wedding look like? Will we see any of those wedding milestones this season or is it going to be a slow burn?
I think so. Well, I mean, it’s going to be a little bit of a slow burn, but it definitely gives us new stories to play, which is really fun. It’s been fun in the ones that we’ve written so far. Sheldon, who has ideas about everything and is very particular about everything, him having to plan a wedding where he’s also going to have ideas about everything has been fun.
Will they get married this season?
I don’t know that for sure. I mean, we’re not that deep into the season yet, but we’re certainly moving toward a wedding.
Will we see the bachelor and bachelorette parties and what would those entail?
We probably will. It’s always interesting when we do stories like that to find ways to do them that are specific to our characters. Bachelor and bachelorette parties have been done on 1,000 other shows. Unless we can find a way to do it that seems different and fun, then we will probably skip it, but I think for Sheldon and Amy, there’s definitely ways to do it that will be different and fun and unique to them.
What would a Sheldon and Amy wedding look like? One would imagine Sheldon might want something geeky, but that Amy wouldn’t necessarily want something like a Lord of the Rings-style wedding.
Absolutely. There’s even a joke in an early episode, “We’re going to get married at Comic-Con,” which is resoundingly rejected. It’ll be interesting to see them moving forward as a couple after marriage. In real life, planning the wedding is sometimes a good indicator of the compromises you’re going to have to make as a married couple.
Will we get to see more of Amy’s family this season?
It’s possible. We’ve seen Amy’s mother, but only briefly in the past. When we did Leonard and Penny’s wedding, we certainly brought out the whole family, which is really fun. It also makes it tricky, because you have so many characters you have to write for. Again, we’re not that far down the road in the writing yet, but it’s certainly something we’re talking about and always talking about if we can find fun people to make an appearance, then that would be a great reason to do it.
Bernadette is pregnant again. Is this because Melissa is pregnant, or was this always the plan?
No, it actually wasn’t the plan. When Melissa told us that she and her husband were pregnant, we were just talking about how we want to do that in the show. Do we just put her behind laundry baskets and couches all the time like people do on sitcoms? Then we thought this would be really interesting. I don’t think we would’ve thought to get them pregnant so soon, but it’s a really interesting story, because it’s a shock when you have a baby that young at home and then are pregnant for the second time. It’s a whole other roller coaster ride. It started to seem like a really fun story to tell, and a really surprising story to tell. We obviously talked to Melissa about it, too, and wanted to make sure she was comfortable with it. This way she just gets to be pregnant on the show, we don’t have to try to hide her baby bump at all.
Neither of them seem particularly happy about the news. What’s next in their parenting adventure?
They’re shell-shocked at the beginning. They’re still coming to terms with having a first child in the house, so having a second child has really knocked them for a loop. Some of the same things from the first time around, too, like Bernadette, who is very driven at work and took some time off to have the first baby and has just gotten back, is now going to have to take time off again. You start to see her starting to feel threatened and vulnerable in her career.
What about for Wolowitz?
The same thing. This brings up some issues from Wolowitz’s past, too, and from his father issues when he was a kid that he’s dealing with as well this season.
Will he make a concerted effort to find his father? Will we actually see Wolowitz’s dad this year?
I don’t know. I can’t say that we are. It’s always a thing that’s out there and we’ve talked about. It’s such a part of his past that gives his character some interesting dimension, especially moving forward as a father. You don’t want to take that away, so if we can find the right way to do it, we might do it, but right now, there’s no plans to see his father.
Will Pamela Adlon be back as the voice of Halley? And would she therefore also voice the second baby?
She’s definitely going to be back as the voice of Halley, who is nine months going onto a year this season, so Halley will start having her first words. Yeah, we’re going to have Pam back to do that. We haven’t really talked about it for the second baby yet, but we’ll probably not [do that], just because we’ve done that already for the first baby, so we’ll have to think of something new.
What’s next for Leonard and Penny this season?
Both of them have some work struggles that we’ve talked about in the past. Personally, for their relationship, all their friends are moving forward. Howard and Bernadette had a baby and are having a second baby, and Sheldon and Amy are engaged. They’re happy and they’re content, but it’s going to start to bring up some questions: “Well, what’s our next step?”
Will they actually consider having a baby?
We’ve already got a couple babies and a Sheldon on the show, so they may consider it, but I don’t think we’ll see a Leonard and Penny baby anytime soon.
Are we going to see Penny get a new job?
We’re going to talk more about her job and come to some resolution. We have some thoughts on other things she’d like to do, but we still have two seasons to go so there are some things we might have to save.
What’s next for Raj this season?
Raj last year went on his journey of giving up his parents’ money and trying to strike out on his own. Even though that’s been rough for him, this season that’s going to give him a little more growth and a little more confidence. He’s definitely always looking for love and he’s going to keep doing that this season.
Any fun girls or boys nights out coming up?
Bernadette will have another girls night before she has her second baby. We’ve shot four episodes and we’ve written a few more than that, so we’re not too deep into the season yet, but those pairings are always fun for us as well.
Any notable guest stars coming up?
There’s a few. Not any new guest stars that we’ve used so far in the first few, but there’s a couple returning favorites that are going to come back. We’re going to have Dean Norris back. We’re going to have Wil Wheaton back. Then there’s another one of my favorites that hasn’t been announced yet, but there’s a few friends from the past that will be returning.
So the guys’ secret military project is going to come back into play?
In what way?
I can’t tell you that! [Laughs]
Are you looking at season 12 as the end of the series?
Honestly, right now I’m just looking to get through season 11. We know we’re picked up through seasons 11 and 12. We definitely have some stories we’d like to tell. Talking about ways to end this show has always been in the air, but it’s really not up to me whether it goes on past 12 or not. I can only deal with the season that’s in front of me. If the network and the cast wants to do more, then that’ll be exciting.
The Big Bang Theory airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET before moving to its regular Thursday timeslot Nov. 2 on CBS.