From its live airings to the seemingly countless reruns, The Big Bang Theory's average weekly viewership presumably equals the population of a mid-range country, yet its CBS run will be ending after Season 12. Fans definitely had questions after the sitcom's final season was announced, with "Why, though?" being a top offering. As it turns out, The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons was the lynchpin for bringing the show to a close.
Though no overall reasons were offered up to explain The Big Bang Theory's final season news, it appears that show lead Jim Parsons was reportedly ready to call it quits, according to EW. Similarly no specific motivation was given for Parsons' decision, but it doesn't appear to be linked to anything controversial or problematic, and is quite possibly just a case where an actor is wanting to evolve outside of the multi-camera sitcom that made him one of the most recognizable TV stars of the modern era. Happens all the time, right?
Money is likely one of the least important factors tied to Jim Parsons' alleged interest in exiting The Big Bang Theory after Season 12. One: it was just in 2017 when the actor and other show regulars took pay cuts in order to give Mayim Mialik and Melissa Rauch the raises they'd been seeking from producers. And two: had the cast agreed to renegotiate their contracts for another two-season renewal, which is allegedly what CBS was looking for, then Parsons would have potentially made around $50 million in profits just to keep the show going until 2021. Alas, the mega-payday wasn't something that justified the efforts for Parsons, and since Sheldon Cooper is at the heart of what makes The Big Bang Theory a draw for its massive audiences, his absence is a non-starter for any potential Season 13.
If Jim Parsons isn't interested in being on The Big Bang Theory anymore beyond Season 12, what does that mean for Young Sheldon, the spinoff for which he's an executive producer and fact-revealing narrator? That's currently unclear, but since it's a similarly massive ratings winner like the flagship comedy, one assumes CBS would find some way to keep Young Sheldon going if Parsons chose to duck out after Season 3, difficult as that would be.
At this point, Jim Parsons has developed a career for himself that isn't fully tethered to any CBS sitcoms. He's well-versed in stage plays and Broadway. He's got the upcoming Ted Bundy thriller Extremely Wicked, Shocking and Vile on the way, and he starred in the 2018 drama A Kid Like Jake. Add to that all of the life moments that Sheldon got to have, thanks to Amy, and one can justify the actor's decision with more ease.
For one more year, The Big Bang Theory will kick things off for Season 12 on CBS starting on Monday, September 24, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Its move to Thursday nights will come soon afterward, too. To see what else will be making its way to primetime soon, head to our fall premiere schedule.