The characters were called Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj and Natasha, and the series was called The Theorists.
One of the most beloved comedy series on television, The Big Bang Theory seems to have “inspired” other productions throughout its history, but one of them went too far: a Belarusian production released a story about four scientists named Sheldon, Leo, Hovard and Raj. That’s what you read.
The case happened in 2010, coinciding with the broadcast of the third season, when showrunner Chuck Lorre, outraged, decided to share it with the show’s fans through his usual “vanity cards”, images with small notes that he addressed to viewers. at the end of each episode.
Throughout the series, the producer used the cards for various purposes, from sharing his opinion on an important topic to explaining scientific issues and so on. So, when he found out about a series identical to The Big Bang Theory, he also talked about:
“Belarus has a busy TV production sector. One of their most recent hits is a sitcom about four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress. The characters are called Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj and Natasha, and the series is called The Theorists.
Each episode begins with a quick montage of images that takes us from the beginning of time to the present moment. The montage is composed of what is probably the worst pop song recorded since the beginning of time. And finally, each episode feels like a Russian translation of an episode of The Big Bang Theory.”
“I don’t want to participate in a stolen series”
The solution to the problem, however, was not as simple as taking legal action. As Entertainment Weekly reported at the time, the series was also unlicensed and, according to Lorre, it was “almost impossible to sue for copyright infringement in Belarus” because the TV production company responsible for The Theorists was “owned and operated by government” of the country.
Fortunately, no legal action was required for the plan to backfire: as soon as the scandal became known, the cast claimed they had no knowledge of the show’s legal status and resigned from their roles, causing the series’ immediate cancellation. . “I don’t want to participate in a stolen series,” declared one of them.
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