9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Watch 'Big Bang Theory's' Tribute to Carol Ann Susi (Exclusive Video)
The cast and creators of CBS' The Big Bang Theory have nothing but amazing things to say about their late and great former co-star Carol Ann Susi.
In a special tribute video included on the season-eight Blu-ray/DVD set, titled "Here's to You, Carol Ann Susi" and shown (above) exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter, creators Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and showrunner Steve Molaro — as well as the cast — share their fond memories of the actress who voiced the late Mrs. Wolowitz.
"In the writing, we've painted a fairly horrendous picture of Mrs. Wolowitz, which was nothing like Carol Ann — at all," Molaro says.
Susi, who never appeared onscreen for her role, died in November after suffering from cancer. She was 62.
Producers opted to work her passing into the show: For season eight's "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" episode, they wrote out Mrs. Debbie Wolowitz when her son, Howard (Simon Helberg), learned that his mother had passed away in her sleep while on vacation in Florida.
"The first thing we talked about was how sad we were that our friend was no longer with us. It took a while for that devastation to calm down before we could even think about [Mrs. Wolowitz's fate]," Molaro told THR following the February episode. "We couldn't bring ourselves to start to think about it. Eventually, the needs of the show [forced the issue] and we had to come up with a plan, and I don't think we could bring ourselves to replace the actor. The thought of it felt awful to us. That left us with two options: We send the character away — which seemed false and fake — or we go right into it and write it into the show, so that's what we chose to do."
The Susi tribute is one of six bonus features included on Warner Home Entertainment's Blu-ray/DVD set, on sale Sept. 21. The show's 2014 Comic-Con panel and gag reel also will be featured.
The Big Bang Theory season nine kicks off Monday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. before moving to its home Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5.