Most people are pleasantly surprised when they receive an Emmy nomination, but for “The Big Bang Theory” director Mark Cendrowski, it was doubly surprising because at first, when the official nominees were announced in the early hours of July 12, his name was nowhere to be found. “It was a strange day,” he admits. Watch our exclusive video interview with Cendrowski above.
When the nominations list was first released Cendrowski was absent from the Best Comedy Directing lineup. In fact, no helmer from a multi-camera sitcom had gotten in despite a recent rule change dictating that one slot in the category would be reserved for whichever eligible multi-cam contender received the most votes. Because of an error by the TV academy, Cendrowski’s name slipped through the cracks.
He eventually got the good news while editing another show when TV academy president Maury McIntyre called him to apologize. “He told me I was nominated, and the emotion was great,” Cendrowski recalls. He had to keep it to himself for a while, though, to give the academy time to issue an official statement.
Cendrowski has been with the CBS comedy since its first season, directing a whopping 233 episodes, but this is his very first Emmy nomination. He competes for the season 11 finale “The Bow Tie Symmetry,” which features the long-awaited marriage of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Penny (Mayim Bialik). “It became a special moment,” says Cendrowski. “People care about these characters. They’ve lived with them for a long time — 11 years — and they treat them a little like family.” But the episode was challenging from both an emotional and a technical standpoint. “I think we had over 22 speaking parts,” he explains. “It was trying to take a lot of pieces of a puzzle and getting them all together.”
Cendrowski is a two-time DGA nominee for “The Big Bang Theory” (2013-2014) and the current directors branch representative on the Emmys’ board of governors. The series has been an Emmy favorite in the past, winning a record-tying four prizes for Parsons as Best Comedy Actor (2010-2011, 2013-2014) and competing for Best Comedy Series four consecutive times (2011-2014).
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