Chuck Lorre is credited with keeping the multicamera comedy alive in an age when the traditional sitcom has become increasingly reliant on a mockumentary format. However, before creating "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory," Lorre experienced "a childhood bereft of love," as he told the Los Angeles Times. He began his adult life as a New York State University dropout with dreams of being a rock star.
"I also saw Jimi Hendrix light a guitar on fire when I was 17 and that kind of explosive power — what rock and roll can do — it made a big impact," Lorre told The Times in 2009. "Music was everything back then. TV was nothing. TV was 'Bewitched' and 'My Mother the Car.' When you had the Stones, the Beatles, Dylan, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Airplane, the Doors and the Who — television? Come on!"
After quitting school when he finished his sophomore year, Lorre spent a decade touring the country as a for-hire guitarist. (He later received an honorary doctorate from SUNY.) After having two children, Lorre recognized the appeal of a stable job with health insurance, so he did what anyone looking for stability does: He started pitching comedy scripts.
Since beginning his TV career in 1986, Lorre has written, produced or created eight sitcoms, five of which were considered hits. Lorre is behind "Roseanne," "Grace Under Fire," "Cybill," "Dharma & Greg," and most recently, two successful comedies, "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory."
During his time on his first three shows, Lorre wasn't known as an easy person to work with. He was fired from "Roseanne" and "Cybill," and he quit "Grace Under Fire." He spoke to The Times about his difficulties with the actresses involved, but he says that some of the blame lies with him as well. He admits that he was an "emotional wreck."
"Mike and Molly," Lorre's comedy about a man and woman who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, will begin its freshman season on CBS in fall 2011.