The Big Bang Theory ended its twelve-season run in 2019, despite multiple accolades and favorable reception. Why did the show come to a close?
After twelve seasons, The Big Bang Theory finally came to an end, but it still left its viewers and even its cast in shock. Making history as one of the longest-running sitcoms, The Big Bang Theory released 279 episodes from September 2007 to May 2019. Although its first few seasons had a lukewarm reception, the show eventually found its footing, became television’s highest-rated comedy, and bagged numerous awards. That is why many were dismayed to know that the hit sitcom would air its final episode after twelve years.
The Big Bang Theory followed the geeky group of Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), as they befriended aspiring actress Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and fellow scientists Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Bialik). Much of the show’s humor and storyline came from the characters navigating their careers, relationships, and contrasting personalities. However, just months after Sheldon and Amy’s wedding, The Big Bang Theory viewers learned that the show’s conclusion was looming.
Why Did Big Bang Theory End?
The Big Bang Theory was no stranger to consistent multiple-season renewals, and in March 2017, it was again renewed for two seasons, running until the 2018-19 television season. Viewers were then caught off guard when in August 2018, the producers announced that the show’s upcoming season would be its last, marking the start of its “epic, creative close”. As it turned out, The Big Bang Theory was never canceled. The decision was primarily influenced by Jim Parsons’ refusal to renew his $50 million contract for seasons 13 and 14. Even though he loved embodying Sheldon Cooper, eventually he grew exhausted and fearful of what life had to offer him beyond the sitcom. His decision also reportedly came after the death of one of his dogs, pushing him to confront the concept of mortality. After all, towards The Big Bang Theory’s ending, Parsons was already 46 years old, and he simply wanted to make the most of his acting career and his life while he still can. Of course, without Sheldon, there would be no The Big Bang Theory, forcing the show to end earlier than planned.
Months before the ending announcement, Galecki also shared a sentiment similar to Parsons’. At the time, he felt that everyone in The Big Bang Theory was already comfortable with the idea of wrapping the show up after twelve seasons. However, that was apparently not the case with Kaley Cuoco, as she admitted being “in a state of shock” after hearing the news (via Variety). While she wanted to continue the show, she simply could not do it without Parsons. On the other hand, Mayim Bialik told Us Weekly that the decision to end The Big Bang Theory had not been simple. In fact, there are “a lot of factors that the public doesn’t get to know about”. While the Blossom actress did not elaborate further, her statement could pertain to anything between unsuccessful negotiations between networks and the cast wanting to move on with their respective careers.
Regardless, The Big Bang Theory season 12 delivered on its promise of tying up loose ends while setting up a fulfilling life ahead for its beloved characters. Sheldon and Amy win the Nobel Prize, while Leonard and Penny are expecting their first child. Howard and Bernadette successfully adjust to parenting, while Raj continues his search for true love. The characters’ future lives are also hinted at in Young Sheldon, the spin-off prequel of The Big Bang Theory, like Sheldon having children of his own.
How Many Seasons Will Young Sheldon Have?
Young Sheldon, the Big Bang Theory prequel spin-off, follows the life of Sheldon Cooper during his childhood, and it’s currently 5 seasons into its run. It debuted in 2017 following an idea Jim Parsons ran past Big Bang producers, becoming greenlit after a special preview episode received overwhelmingly positive audience feedback.
Despite The Big Bang Theory‘s final season airing in 2019, Young Sheldon is still going strong. It’s just finished its 5th season and has been renewed for another 2, meaning its run will be at least 7 seasons long. It’s managed to garner a strong fan base of both Big Bang Theory veterans and newcomers, defying the expectations of some critics who believed it would be a short-lived cash-grab project from Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Studios when it was first announced. Audiences have warmed to the characters introduced in Young Sheldon, and series mainstays like Georgie, Mandy, and Connie “Meemaw” Tucker have proved engaging enough to support 5 seasons of non-Big-Bang-related stories.
Season 5 of Young Sheldon ended with many unresolved story arcs, most of which didn’t directly feature the titular Sheldon. When the show returns for its 6th season (no official date yet) there’s a whole host of themes to tackle, from George and Mary’s marital issues to Georgie and Mandy’s unexpected pregnancy. With Sheldon himself only just entering puberty by the end of season 5, there are a lot of years Young Sheldon still has available to cover before Dr. Cooper takes up his post at Caltech in time to meet the permed Leonard as seen in The Big Bang Theory‘s many flashbacks to their early roommate days. The Big Bang Theory lasted 12 seasons, and there’s nothing to suggest that Young Sheldon can’t enjoy an equally long runtime.
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