Turns out "The Big Bang Theory" is big in Belarus, too. So big, in fact, that the government of the country has launched a blatant rip-off of the show.
Dubbed "The Theorists," the series revolves around a group of nerds eerily similar to those on the CBS megahit. One is named Sheldon. And it evens opens with a similar theme montage.
"Big" co-creator Chuck Lorre uncovered the copycat and told the world about it Monday night via his version of Twitter: The vanity card that ends at the end of each episode of TV he produces.
Belarus is a small, land-locked country next door to Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. According to Wikipedia, one of its major exports is cattle by-products. Which begs the question, what horrible shape are the cattle in, if all they're good for is felt hats and wallpaper paste? But Belarus does have a bustling TV production industry. One of their most recent hits is a sitcom about four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress. The characters are named Sheldon, Leo, Hovard, Raj and Natasha, and the show is entitled, The Theorists. Each episode begins with a rapid-fire montage of images which takes us from the dawn of time to the present moment. Keeping with that theme, the montage is scored with what is probably the worst piece of recorded pop music since the dawn of time. And finally, each episode appears to be a Russian translation of a Big Bang Theory episode. When we brought this to the attention of the Warner Brothers legal department, we were told that it's next to impossible to sue for copyright infringement in Belarus because the TV production company that is ripping us off is owned and operated by the government of Belarus. Having no other recourse, I'm hoping that this vanity card will be read by the fine folks making The Theorists, and, wracked with guilt, they break down and send us some felt hats. The Kyrgyzstan version of Dharma & Greg already sent me some wallpaper paste.
Thanks to blogger Larry Getlen, we know there's even YouTube evidence of this travesty (see below). We also found music video featuring the show's theme song and members of the cast of "Theorists" dancing with abandon. And via the show's official website, we stumbled upon this news story from on the set of "Theorists."
Everyone involved seems quite proud of their plagarism.
Meanwhile, click here to hear how "Big Bang" — the original series — sounds with a Russian (at least we think it's Russian — dub.
Evidence of the crime below: