By Michael Ausiello
Updated January 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST

What a Big Bang bummer.

Five months after it was announced that TV’s funniest traditional sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, had wisely upgraded the sublime Sara Gilbert from an occasional guest star to a full-fledged series regular, the former Roseanne star has practically vanished from the CBS hit. What the heck happened?

Well, I did a little digging and it turns out Gilbert is no longer a series regular! An insider tells me that the actress was bumped to recurring because producers weren’t able to generate enough story for her character, who had been paired romantically with Leonard (played by Gilbert’s former Roseanne co-star, Johnny Galecki). “They couldn’t write for her, so they changed her status to recurring,” whispers the insider. “It’s a little mystifying.”

A Big Bang spokesperson declined to comment, but a source close to the show noted that Gilbert will continue to be a presence on TBBT, adding that she’s scheduled to appear in the episode that tapes next week. “Sara has a long-standing relationship with [Big Bang exec producer] Chuck Lorre that dates back to their Roseanne days,” the source points out. “He adores her, and he will continue to use her on the show.”

My take: I’m still a little disappointed by this, but a little Sara Gilbert is better than no Sara Gilbert. You agree?

Episode Recaps

In truth, just about everyone on The Big Bang Theory is an adorable geek — even comparative regular girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco). But Sheldon (Jim…

The Big Bang Theory

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