Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco has revealed that she initially missed out on being cast as Penny in the popular TV show, and was saved by a "second chance" shot at the role.

The long running sitcom is preparing to come to an end this May after 12 seasons. Speaking to TV Insider Cuoco said she nearly lost the role because she was "too young" to play Penny (then named Katie) when the show was originally cast. Instead the show cast actress Amanda Walsh in the pilot.

"I didn't get (the role of Katie) the first time around. I was too young, which I love saying because I don't get to say that I'm too young anymore," Cuoco said.

Amanda Walsh during 2005 Toronto Film Festival. Photo / Getty
Amanda Walsh during 2005 Toronto Film Festival. Photo / Getty

"In the first pilot, the character of Penny was not as appealing as that proverbial girl-next-door. It was not the actress but rather the concept of the character," Peter Roth, Warner Bros. president said.

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"Fortunately, Nina Tassler, then-president of CBS Entertainment, realised we had something very special and said, 'Let's do it again,'" he added.

For Cuoco, that was the second chance she needed. She's been a star on the show ever since.

Cuoco posted a throwback picture of herself and castmates Galecki, Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh), Jim Parsons (Sheldon) and Simon Helberg (Howard) on Instagram.

"#mcm men crush Monday on these handsome boys! This photo was taken at our very first Comic Con many moons ago. We only have a few episodes left, the nostalgia is getting insanely real."