It was previously revealed that Cuoco originally tried out for the role of a character named Katie, who would have been worlds away from Penny. Cuoco did not get the role.
Speaking in Jessica Radloff’s book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series, Cuoco said: “I know Chuck [Lorre, the show’s co-creator] really wanted me for the role of Katie, and I was definitely bummed when I didn’t get it,” Cuoco told Radloff.
The book reveals that four actors almost won the role instead: Marisa Tomei, Tara Reid, Elizabeth Berkeley and Jodi Lynn O’Keefe.
Co=creator Bill Prady said that Berkeley especially had a ”terrific” audition, but it was O’Keefe who won the role. However, she got fired 30 minutes after the first table read with the cast.