Top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory will finally finish a twelve year and 279 episode run that began in 2007 and ends in spring 2019, establishing it as a record-breaking multi-camera comedy. The multi-award-winning series launched its collective cast – including Jim Parsons (as Sheldon Cooper), Johnny Galecki (as Leonard Hofstadter), Kayley Cuoco (as Penny), Simon Helberg (as Howard Wolowitz), Kunal Nyyar (as Raj Koothrappali) and Melissa Rauch (as Bernadette Rostenkowski) alongside Mayim Bialik (tv’s Blossom) as Amy Farrah Fowler – to stardom.
There had been rumours that the show might well be ending after the 2018/2019 run given that most of the cast’s contracts were up and would need to be renegotiated (last time they held out for more all-inclusive collective wage parity) though it continued to be a ratings juggernaut, it might practically be a law of diminishing returns.
Official news came this week as the season started to film the first episode of the 2018/2019 season, that the show was ready to wind-up with this run. It is generally believed that while a deal might have been able to be sorted if everyone was onboard, Jim Parsons had particularly felt the time was right to move on – especially given his success on Broadway. He discussed his feelings with creator and produce Chuck Lorre last week and announced the decision to fellow cast-members this week – and it was decided that the show would not continue without him. He took to Instagram to express his feelings…
“It is hard (really 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. 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. Something else I feel grateful for – and this gratitude needs no time to “sink in” or become more “realized”; this grateful-feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season – but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.
I feel grateful to our crew – many, many of those who have been with us since day one – and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don’t see them on TV, are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh.
I am grateful to all the writers of our show – those with us now and those that have come and gone, because without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever. The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which is a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand. And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again: 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. You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will ever fully understand.
I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”
Several other members of the cast took to Twitter to share similar feelings.
Over the years, the celebration of geek culture won huge ratings and a multitude of guest-stars ranging from Professor Stephen Hawkin and Buzz Aldrin to James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Leonard Nimoy, Nathan Fillion, Wil Wheaton, Elton Musk, Christopher Lloyd and Bob Newhart. There’s no doubt it remains popular, but some sections of geek fandom had felt it unfairly played to old stereotypes of the community and was not as funny as it once was. Either way, it regularly won awards and its time-slot.
The final run of twenty-four episodes begins on 24th September.