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Emmys 2012: Cheerios, Legoland and Broadway for 'Big Bang Theory' Stars

UPDATED: Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik react to news of their third and first nominations, respectively, while showrunner Bill Prady touts the show has having "the best cast on TV."

Mayim Bialik Jim Parsons Big Bang Theory - H 2012
CBS
"The Big Bang Theory's" Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons was in New York "drinking coffee and watching the Today show like a good American" when he heard news of his Emmy nomination for his work as neurotic scientist Sheldon Cooper on CBS' The Big Bang Theory. Meanwhile, his co-star Mayim Bialik was in Atlanta on a phone interview promoting World Breastfeeding Month and missed news of her first Emmy nomination for Parsons' on-screen partner, Amy Farrah Fowler.

"I got off the phone and went to check if Kristen Wiig got nominated and was making my younger son a bowl of Cherrios and got the call," an excited Bialik tells The Hollywood Reporterof her supporting actress nomination. "I was so certain I wasn't being nominated I had a phone interview."

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The nomination for the former Blossom star comes as the new series regular returned to acting after receiving her doctorate in neuroscience at UCLA and marks an achievement the actress never thought she'd receive.

"When I started acting after getting my PhD I hoped I could just act here and there and enough to get insurance, honestly," she says. "I was not at all expecting to be on any show that anyone had heard of much less to be a regular. It's absolutely absurd. If they take it back and say it's a mistake, I'll believe that!"

"I don't even know that I was that conscious of the Emmys even when I was on TV as a young person, it wasn't as big of a publicized deal as it is now -- but I never ever pictured myself up there," says Bialik, who has received numerous calls, emails and tweets from her co-stars, producers and Warner Bros. Television CEO Peter Roth.

Showrunner Bill Prady, who also received a call from Roth, said Thursday's nominations -- including its second for best comedy series -- is acknowledgement that the series is doing what it sets out to do every day. "The goal when we come in every morning is to make a show people like, that people watch and that we like and want to watch," he said. "It's fun feeling like you're part of that group of shows that people acknowledge."

"I think we have the best cast on television and I watch them all get recognized one by one with different awards," says Prady, who was up -- though not deliberately -- to watch the nominations. "Mayim is a unique, wonderful performer that is a character we create together that is wonderfully not like anything else on TV. I'm so proud of the entire cast top to bottom ... I nominate all of them."

In terms of his plans to celebrate the show's five nominations, Prady has lofty goals. "I'm just going to sit down in front of the TV and hope that Viacom and DirecTV let me have The Daily Show soon," he said with a laugh.

Co-creator Chuck Lorre acknowledged Big Bang's noms in a statement: "I'm just really proud and happy for the TV Academy's recognition of Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik from TBBT, Jon Cryer and Kathy Bates from Two and a Half Men, and Melissa McCarthy from Mike & Molly (and SNL!). Then you add in the nom for TBBT which honors everyone: cast, crew, writing staff, production staff, and the editing, lighting and art direction tech noms for all three shows -- and I'm in danger of using overflowing cup cliches."

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Parsons, meanwhile, says his third nomination for the role (he's won twice) is extra special as he gets to share it with the cast and Bialik and celebrate on Broadway, where he's starring in Harvey.

"I have an extra special performance of Harvey today which will find me happier than normal," says Parsons, who notes that he emailed Bialik immediately upon hearing news of her nom.

Beyond spending the night on the stage, Parsons said he planned to celebrate in a very Sheldon-like fashion: with juice. "That sounds lame but it makes me very happy; it's the one thing Sheldon and I have in common: neither of us drink."

Parsons noted that the series nomination means the Emmys would be a bigger party for the show. "Last year the show was nominated for the first time and it was so much more fun than even I predicted; to have so many people from the show representing -- you get all these tickets! -- all evening you keep finding someone from the show you work with, it really is the way to do it," he says. "And we didn't even win!"

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Meanwhile, Bialik -- a published author of a parenting book -- planned to spend the day as scheduled with her two kids, best friend and her two children.

"We're going to Legoland with the kids, and my best friend said she would buy me two vegan cupcakes today," says Bialik, who credits the writers for making Amy such a unique character to portray.

As for Bialik's sudden interest in Wiig's nomination status? "I just like her!" she said with a laugh.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit