The Big Bang Theory actors talk about the show's success

Mar 14, 2013 at 9:27 p.m. ET

The Big Bang Theory is one of the most successful shows on TV, but it wasn't always that way. So what changed it from a fledgling show to one that tens of millions of people watch each week?

Simon Helberg The Big Bang Theory has only existed since 2007, but that has been enough time to shoot the show to the top of the ratings. The actors showed up to PaleyFest this year, where their show appeared four years ago, and talked about why they think it has become so successful.

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It seems like it all boils down to one thing: syndication. The fact that the show is now in reruns (that are nearly impossible to escape) has helped the show's visibility. TBS debuted the show in syndication in 2011.

"You're kind of forced to watch the show now," actor Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz on the show, joked to Michael Lennox with the Associated Press. "We're shoving it down people's throats, and then they're learning that they love that."

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The show is centered around four scientist friends and their neighbor who is hoping to become an actress. Actor Jim Parsons plays physicist Sheldon Cooper, a bit of an eccentric genius. But in real life, Parsons has a hard time understanding the success of the show.

"There's something impossible to fathom about viewers and numbers and things like that," Parsons said. "I can barely picture 20 people in one room. If you want to say 17 or 18 million, well, you've lost me."

The Big Bang Theory likely has a long future ahead, but at least one of the actors has already started to think about how the show might end.

"Well I think [Howard's] pants will probably be as skinny and probably a bit tighter," Helberg told Lennox. "I think that Sheldon will probably still be sitting in his spot. It may be in a different apartment. I think he'll sit in that spot until he's in a home. Howard and Bernadette probably will... God, God help them if they have children. We know she hates them and we know that Howard, essentially, is a child. So I wish them luck."

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Photo courtesy Nikki Nelson/