TV fans were left reeling after last Wednesday’s surprise cancellation of “The Big Bang Theory.” Now comes word that the cast was just as shocked.
As reported by Deadline Hollywood, co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre dropped the news on a normal workday, with no advance warning. He began by summoning the cast to his office after a table read on a nearby soundstage. Once the group had assembled, star Jim Parsons tearfully informed the cast he had decided not to continue with the series.
Lorre then stepped in to clarify that the hit comedy’s 12th season, premiering Sept. 24, would be its last. Although renewal talks for the show were underway, Lorre reportedly did not want to continue unless all three key players — Parsons, along with co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco — were onboard. Days before the announcement, Parsons informed Lorre he would not be renewing his contract.
Knowing when to bring down the curtain on a beloved series is never an easy call. For many fans, the shuttering of “Big Bang” evokes the demise of “M*A*S*H,” when star Alan Alda decided to leave despite many cast members’ desire to continue.
In addition to winning four Emmys for his performance as Sheldon Cooper, Parsons has branched out in recent years with Broadway productions (“The Boys in the Band”), films (“Hidden Figures”) and TV movies (“The Normal Heart”). He will continue as an executive producer and a voice artist on “Young Sheldon,” another Lorre hit on CBS.
As news of the “Big Bang” cancelation spread, Parsons took to Instagram to share an emotional message with his 6.4 million followers, expressing “intense gratitude” for the crew, writers and cast. “I will miss all of you, and all of this, more than I can say and more than I can know at this time,” he wrote.
The rest is up to Lorre and his writers. In a joint statement with CBS and Warner Bros., he promised to “deliver a final season, and season finale, that will bring ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to an epic creative close.”
When it wraps, “Big Bang” will become the longest-running multi-camera series in television history, with 279 episodes.