WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 —When “The Big Bang Theory’ first aired, it was hard to imagine the loveable nerds in any romantic scenario that didn’t involve “Star Trek” and comic book conventions. But, just like in the real world, there is someone for everyone.
Also just like in the real world, the formula for finding a soul mate often involves finding someone whose dysfunctions match yours in a workable way. This concept has never been more evident than the matchmaking on “The Big Bang Theory.”
Watching beautiful people date beautiful people is like watching aliens mate for the average person. But watching average people dealing with the uncertainty and awkwardness of finding that one person is familiar, and something that “The Big Bang Theory” does well.
Since there are a lot less beautiful people in this world than average ones, this season’s continued focus on developing romantic relationships is a stroke of genius in keeping “The Big Bang Theory” relevant and entertaining.
Apparently TV audiences agree, because each new season has attracted enough people to the show to make it a regular contender this season for number one in the Nielsen ratings. In its first season in 2007, “The Big Bang Theory” averaged about 8 million viewers. So far, this season’s average is just under 19 million.
So, despite criticism that the show has strayed too far from its original premise, TV audiences approve of adding love into the mix of science and social awkwardness. Tune in tonight and see why.
All times are EST:
ABC: Shark Tank: (Repeat) A modern-day slip business; a scrubbing tool; dog-friendly frozen yogurt; an electric unicycle; an update on the “Lollacup.”
CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (New) Howard struggles with whether or not he should open a letter from his father, and Leonard and Penny throw a “grown-up” cocktail party at the apartment.
FOX: American Idol: (New) The first finalist of the season is eliminated.
NBC: Community: (New) Greendale comes together to unlock the mystery of Chang’s amnesia, which Abed films as a documentary.
CW: The Vampire Diaries: (New) Elena’s new outlook has everyone concerned, leading Stefan and Damon to agree that going back to the normal routine of high school would be the best thing for her. Caroline is pleasantly surprised when Elena decides to rejoin the cheerleading squad, but her pleasure turns to shock when Elena’s behavior proves dangerous.
CBS: Two and a Half Men: (New) Walden and Alan try to cheer up a lonely Herb, but end up partying a little too hard.
NBC: Parks and Recreation: (New) Leslie tries to help a local video store stay in business, while Ann blackmails April into being her friend. Jason Schwartzman guest stars!
ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) Discord and chaos created by new management causes one doctor to question his future at Seattle Grace; the doctors and interns juggle multiple transplant surgeries simultaneously.
CBS: Person of Interest: (New) Protecting the unluckiest gambler in the world is hands down the most dangerous game in town.
FOX: Glee: (New) The students give an assignment to the teachers for a change.
NBC: The Office: (New) Dwight and Oscar attend a shocking funeral at Schrute Farms.
CW: Beauty and the Beast: (New) New Assistant District Attorney Gabe Lowan (Sendhil Ramamurthy) arrives at the precinct, suspicious that cases involving the vigilante are being mishandled, and wanting answers. Cat (Kristin Kreuk) is determined to protect Vincent (Jay Ryan) at any cost, which includes tracking down a witness and threatening him at a gala masquerade ball.
NBC: 1600 Penn: (New) Xander competes with his dad for world domination, while Emily helps Skip prepare for an all-important date.
ABC: Scandal: (Repeat) Fitz doesn’t know who he can trust; a handsome stranger (Scott Foley) sparks Olivia’s interest; the team at Pope & Associates works for David Rosen on a case.
CBS: Elementary: (New) Joan takes her first solo case: the disappearance of a woman who left her husband a tearful break-up video that mentioned a murder on a subway platform. Meanwhile, Sherlock is intrigued by the subway murder and decides to investigate
NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) An undercover investigation into a man savagely attacking other men leads to a murder case, and ADA Barba must tangle with a deceptively tough and cunning defense attorney in court.
New episodes of:
Comic Book Men at 9 p.m. on AMC
Swamp People at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Project Runway at 9 p.m. on LIFE
Auction Kings at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on DSC
Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX
Freak Show at 9:30 p.m. on AMC
The First 48 at 9 and 10 p.m. on A&E
Immortalized at 10 p.m. on AMC
North Woods Law at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet
Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Archer at 10 p.m. on FX
Big Rig Bounty Hunters at 10 p.m. on History Channel
What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC
Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
For movie lovers:
Striking Distance on ENC
The Door in the Floor on FLIX
Boogie Nights on IFC
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai on SUND
13 Rue Madaleine on TCM
Liar, Liar on VH1
Meet the Fockers on MOMAX
Project X on HBO
The House on 92nd Street at 9:45 p.m. on TCM
What Dreams May Come True at 10 p.m. on FLIX
A Clockwork Orange at 10 p.m. on SUND
The Three Musketeers at 10 p.m. on TMC