The Big Bang Theory remains a hit show for CBS, so it was a bit of a surprise yesterday when we learned that the upcoming season would be the show’s last. Now we know why. According to EW, Jim Parsons, who plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper, the show’s breakout character who even spawned the prequel series Young Sheldon, did not want to return. Apparently, CBS wanted to go two more years on the show with Parsons and original co-stars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg earning nearly $1 million per episode, which would have totaled out to about $50 million for Parsons. However, there’s really no Big Bang Theory without Sheldon, so it was decided to wrap up the series instead rather than continue on without him.
Parsons earned four Emmys, one Golden Globe, and a voice-over role on Young Sheldon (no word yet if he’ll continue on in that capacity for the spinoff), so it’s not like there’s anything more to do. Also, after 12 seasons, which makes The Big Bang Theory the longest-running multi-camera series in TV history, it’s not like anyone can say that he didn’t put in his time.
In a joint statement, Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions said, “We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, 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.”
The final season of The Big Bang Theory will debut Monday, Sept. 24 on CBS before moving to its regular time period on Thursday, Sept. 27.