The Big Bang Theory has been one of the most popular shows on television for over a decade, but the show has to stop at some point, and now we have an indication of exactly when that might be. Speaking recently about the future of the series, Big Bang co-star Johnny Galecki implied that the show's 12th season could very likely be the last, meaning we may get one more run of episodes after this current season is complete.
Johnny Galecki was a recent guest at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour where he said (via TV Line) that the cast of the show would be "comfortable" with the series coming to an end following Season 12. While this is certainly not a confirmation that the show is coming to an end, it does imply that there's an expectation on the part of those in the know that the end is likely very close.
That wasn't the case when The Big Bang Theory was looking at a potential end after Season 10. While a full decade of TV would have been a decent place to call it a day, it seemed that everybody was expecting the show to continue. That's exactly what happened as the show received a renewal, not just for one season, but two.
It would make sense that part of the plan with the two season renewal was to wrap the show up after that. After more than a decade it would be unsurprising if some of the actors or crew are ready to move on and it might have been easier to get people to commit for more than one season by promising it will be over after that. It also has the benefit of locking in salaries for two years.
That's another reason the show might be planning to wrap up. A renewal for a Season 13 will mean new contracts for everybody involved and new contracts means raises. The five main cast members already make something in the neighborhood of a million dollars per episode. When you have a cast as large as The Big Bang Theory, giving everybody a raise means a lot more money, and at some point, you reach a level of diminishing returns. Regardless of what the show makes for CBS, at some point, it won't be worth it.
Having said that, some has implied that The Big Bang Theory could still go on for years to come, so who the hell knows? There probably won't be an official announcement until sometime after Season 11 wraps up. If Season 12 is going to be the last, expect CBS to make a big deal promoting it as the Final Season from the beginning. If they don't make the announcement at the beginning of Season 12, it could very well be because they're trying to negotiate for Season 13.