After 12 years as one of the world’s most popular sit coms, The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) will air its final episode in May 2019, 12 seasons and 279 episodes since it began.
According to Deadline, insider sources claimed BBT’s co-creator, Chuck Lorre, didn’t want to continue with a 13th season unless its three lead actors – Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard) and Kaley Cuoco (Penny) – wanted to as well, and Parsons didn’t.
Despite negotiations from CBS to change the 45-year-old actor’s mind, he was “ready to move on,” and Lorre and Parsons surprised the cast and crew with the news just a day before making their public statement.
According to Nellie Adreeva of Deadline: “I hear Lorre gave the floor to star Jim Parsons, who made a tearful announcement that he would not be continuing on the series beyond the upcoming 12th season.”
Although Parsons instigated the show’s end, following the public announcement, he did share an emotional and lengthy tribute to the cast, writers, crew and fans on his Instagram.
Parsons emphasized how “grateful” he is for the experience in a lengthy Instagram post
“It is hard (nearly impossible, actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory,” the actor began. “I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in.”
Parsons went on to thank viewers “who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives,” the crew members who have offered “a sense of steadiness and dependability,” the writers, and his cast mates.
“I am so terribly grateful for the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren’t pictured here — whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off,” he added.
The 45-year-old concluded saying: “I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”
Read Parsons’ full statement below.
Kaley Cuoco said her “heart is broken in two”
On Wednesday, star Kaley Cuoco, took to Instagram to thank fans and everyone involved with the show’s production. The actress, who plays Penny, posted a photo of the cast, which she captioned:
“This ride has been a dream come true and as life changing as it gets,” she captioned the photo.”No matter when it was going to end, my heart would have always been broken in two. Drowning in tears, we promise to bring you the best season yet. To the fans, our crew, families, Chuck Lorre, Warner Brothers , CBS, and everyone who has supported us for so many years, thank you. We are goin out with a bang.”
Kunal Nayyar was almost rendered speechless
Actor Kunal Nayyar, who plays Raj, reacted to the news by sharing a message on Instagram as well.
“As you may already know … and for those of you who don’t. This will officially be Big Bang Theory’s last season,” he wrote. “After season 12 we will be the longest running multi-camera sitcom in the history of television. There are no words in any language that can describe what my heart wants to say … The love that I feel for all of you is boundless. Without you the fans there would be no us. Tonight I sleep with a prayer of gratitude on my lips. This isn’t goodbye … yet … still 23 eps to shoot!”
Mayim Bialik said the show ending was “very sad”
Meanwhile, Mayim Bialik, who first appeared on the series in 2010, was not happy to learn the show was ending.
“Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in season four,” the actress wrote on her personal website. “I love my job. I love my castmates, and I feel such appreciation for our incredible crew, our brave writers, our entire staff, and our amazing fans. So many people are a part of our Big Bang family.”
The actress also wrote that she would be mourning the loss of a steady paycheck.
“But my paying job — the one you know me for — is ending and yes: It’s very sad. I fear it’s going to be very hard to not cry every day for the next 23 episodes! But, as a cast, we love bringing joy to our viewers and we will continue to do that to the best of our collective ability,” Bialik wrote.
The rest of the cast has yet to comment on the end of the series
Cast members Johnny Galecki, Melissa Rauch, and Simon Helberg have yet to publicly react to the cancellation news, while CBS, Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre productions said in a joint statement they “are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to an epic creative close.”