Did Belarus Rip Off 'The Big Bang Theory'?


The TheoristsA scene from "The Theorists," which Chuck Lorre says is a Belarusian copy of his show "The Big Bang Theory."

Plenty of television producers would surely love to duplicate the success of the prolific comedy creator Chuck Lorre, and someone (or someones) in Belarus may have figured out how to do it - by ripping off his hit CBS series "The Big Bang Theory" in its entirety.

As Josef Adalian of reported on his TV MoJoe blog, Mr. Lorre called attention to his apparent Eastern Bloc admirers-slash-copycats in a title card at the end of "The Big Bang Theory" on Monday night.

In the card, Mr. Lorre wrote that he had come across a Belarusian series called "The Theorists," about "four nerdy scientists who live next door to a beautiful blonde waitress." Each episode, he added, "appears to be a Russian translation of a 'Big Bang Theory' episode."

But when Mr. Lorre complained to lawyers at Warner Brothers, which produces "Big Bang Theory," he said, "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 legal options, Mr. Lorre wrote that he hoped the producers of "The Theorists" would "break down and send us some felt hats."

Below is a video clip from "The Theorists," whose production values, we must say, are astoundingly high. We can't tell what the characters are saying, but as always, the inclusion of a laugh track makes the comedy extra-hilarious.


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