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The Big Bang Theory Has Outlived Most Of Its Characters’ Favourite Shows

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Throughout The Big Bang Theory’s 12-season run, its characters have made regular references to the iconic TV series they love. And due to TBBT’s enormous popularity, it’s actually managed to outlast most of those shows, sometimes by a significant margin. In anticipation of the series finale—which arrives later this week—let’s compare the longevity of The Big Bang Theory and a few of the shows that fuel its comic banter.

Firefly

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In the longevity department, The Big Bang Theory had no trouble surpassing Joss Whedon’s celebrated cult series Firefly. In fact, most of TBBT’s frustrated references to this series relate to the fact that it had an exceedingly short run, getting cancelled after a single season.

Babylon 5

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While several characters on The Big Bang Theory claim to be Babylon 5 fans, Sheldon is a vocal detractor. Apparently he hates the series so much that he lobbied TNT to take it off the air back in the ’90s. Whether this campaign had an influence or not, the show’s run came to an end in 1998—after just five seasons.

Game of Thrones

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Coming to an end within a week of The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones has followed a similar—but far more bloody—trajectory, if only in terms of its era-defining popularity. Of course, TBBT had a four-season head start and roughly 200 more episodes, making it a far more enduring TV phenomenon.

Star Trek

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The characters on The Big Bang Theory have a longstanding Star Trek obsession, repeatedly referencing the movies and several of the TV series. While TBBT isn’t as ancient as the overall Star Trek franchise (which turns 53 this year), none of the individual series have lasted more than seven seasons.

Doctor Who

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Like Star Trek, Doctor Who has had many iterations since launching in the mid-’60s, but the first series (which ran from 1963 to 1989) is all you need to (easily) defeat The Big Bang Theory. This series featured seven versions of the title character, but it ran uninterrupted for a jaw-dropping 26 seasons. Even the second series—which has been running since 2005—is on the cusp of matching The Big Bang Theory’s impressive twelve-season run.

Tune in to The Big Bang Theory series finale Thursday at 8e 5p on CTV.