As previously, lightly teased, Sarah Michelle Gellar made a surprise cameo in Thursday’s swan song (read full recap here) as Raj’s date to Sheldon and Amy’s Nobel Prize ceremony. The idea for the quasi-Buffy crossover “came later in the story-breaking process,” showrunner Steve Holland tells TVLine.
“We knew that Raj wouldn’t have anyone to sit next to on the flight to Stockholm,” the EP explains. “And [series co-creator] Chuck [Lorre] was like, ‘Maybe there’s somebody fun that he’s sitting next to.’ And then we started talking about who that could be.
“I’ve been a fan of Buffy for years,” Holland adds. “It’s probably the show I’ve watched more than any other. I think a lot of our writers are fans of Buffy. [Having Sarah in the finale] felt like a fun, like, deeper-reel pull that would be exciting to us and exciting to these characters.”
But first they had to get Gellar on board with the stunt. “Chuck got on the phone with [Sarah] and, luckily, the conversation got started with her saying that her family is a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory,” Holland recalls. “At that point, we felt like it was going to work out. Then it was just a matter of figuring out the logistics and the scheduling.”
Holland, meanwhile, would like to clarify that, narratively speaking, Gellar and Raj are just friends. “There is a line in there where she says to him, ‘This is not a date,'” the EP reminds us with a laugh. “We’re aware Sarah Michelle Gellar is fairly famously married in real life [to Freddie Prinze Jr.], so we didn’t want there to be any confusion there.”
Romantic or not, “it was still nice to have Raj get a win,” says Holland, “and get to spend the evening hanging out with one of his celebrity crushes.”