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Dumb as Hair

Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady are executive producers of CBS's new sitcom "Big Bang Theory" about two brainiacs living in an apartment building across the hall from -- wait for it -- a dim gorgeous blonde.

She's played by Kaley Cuoco, who was the hot, dim daughter on "Eight Simple Rules."

During the show's Q&A session at Summer TV Press Tour 2007, Cuoco talked at some length about her character, who she said is not actually dumb. Lorre and Prady said it too -- a lot. TV critics weren't buying it. One said this part made Cuoco's "8 Simple Rules" character "look like the president of Mensa."

Cuoco talked to the critics about her long and varied career.

"I feel so lucky because I think a lot of, I would say, actresses have a tough time going from 16 to 18, to 20, to 25 and being able to continue to work."

Yes, she really did.

In the pilot episode the two brainiacs -- named Sheldon and Leonard in an homage to the brilliant actor/producer Sheldon Leonard -- are working on "formulas" on whiteboards. Prady said they hired a consultant who is an astrophysicist at UCLA, to draw the figures on the boards for the show. One critic wondered how they'd know if the consultant was sneaking something past the producers and the network's censors that might be an off-color geeky joke.

"We know that the parody of the Born-Oppenheimer Approximation was a parody of the Born-Oppenheimer Approximation -- it made our consultant laugh," Prady said.

"So it was like it was a really good one, you know, as far as those things go."

VIDEO | The Big Bang Theory

Editor's note: Watch more clips in our Fall TV Video Preview and read more about the Summer TV Press Tour in Lisa's column: CBS's Patinkin Village.

By Maura McCarthy  |  July 19, 2007; 8:05 AM ET
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