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CBS Tried To Cut Raj From The Big Bang Theory In The Sneakiest Way

Whether you love or hate it, it's impossible to not bring up "The Big Bang Theory" when discussing the most popular and culturally influential sitcoms of all time. The brainchild of creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady was an absolute powerhouse in its time, dominating the small screen in terms of viewership, awards, and nominations. Not to mention, even as its finale recedes further and further into the past, its cast remains as recognizable as ever — especially the main crew of six nerds and the less-than-geeky Penny Teller (Kaley Cuoco).

Despite the frequent — and, in many cases, totally unnecessary — conflicts among them, "The Big Bang Theory" crew became so iconic thanks to their relationships. The chemistry between Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), and the rest of their friends made for endlessly entertaining television that ranged from hilarious to dramatic. However, had the minds at CBS had their way, a key player in the "Big Bang Theory" formula would've been taken out of the equation entirely.

Early on in the historic run of "The Big Bang Theory," CBS attempted to cut the occasionally character-breaking Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) from the program. Worse yet, those behind the call tried to do so in the sneakiest way possible.

CBS went behind Chuck Lorre's back to try and fire Kunal Nayyar

As recalled by Kunal Nayyar and Chuck Lorre in the book "The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series," CBS attempted to remove Nayyar from the series behind Lorre's back. "Apparently, while I was flying across the country, a CBS executive determined — unilaterally — that Kunal wasn't right for the role, and we would recast that part," Lorre recalled after noticing Nayyar didn't show up for the upfronts. Suffice to say, Lorre wasn't happy with this deception, especially since Nayyar had hardly been given a chance and the Raj character was still forming.

While Nayyar wondered what had gone wrong, Lorre gave CBS executives a piece of his mind and ensured the actor would stay. Thankfully, Nayyar's take on Raj would become a staple of "The Big Bang Theory" from then on. However, as a consequence of Raj's longevity, when the show ended in 2019, it wasn't easy for Nayyar to say goodbye, as he told Lorraine Kelly. "For me personally, ending 'Big Bang' was like breaking up with the love of your life. It's like when you know nothing is wrong, but it's just time," he said during the February 2022 interview. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

Even though "The Big Bang Theory" is long over, Kunal Nayyar's legacy as Raj has yet to fade — a legacy that CBS nearly tossed in the bin before its time.