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Greetings from Banff TV fest: Bill Prady

Bill Prady, exec producer of “The Big Bang Theory,” held an intimate and fun gathering as he told tales from life in the sitcom writers’ room.Bill_prady

One of the funniest stories was how Jim Parsons’ Sheldon character was created. Prady recalled his days as a computer programmer and went to dinner with a colleague who was a mathematical savant. When his colleague asked how much to leave for a tip,  however, there was no simple calculation.

“He couldn’t do a tip,” Prady explained. “He couldn’t figure out how do you put a number on service? Is it how fast the food is served? Whether she put a smiley face on the bill? There was no simple calculation.”

Prady, who will moderate a William Shatner panel Wednesday and is a devotee of “Star Trek” – hence the Will Wheaton episodes of “Big Bang” — also said he supported Les Moonves’ decision to move “Big Bang” to Thursday as CBS launches a new comedy night.

And the best thing about being on the “Big Bang” is that it’s not “Related,” a Warner Bros. show run by “Friends” exec producer Marta Kauffman that Prady was writing. Miserable, he one day ventured into Chuck Lorre’s office – the two worked together on “Dharma and Greg” — to try something new.

“Chuck had just read a sci-fi novel that we tried to adapt,” Prady says about the “Big Bang” origins. “After a month, Chuck realized we couldn’t do it. Just for the record, I realized it after three weeks.”

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