Few TV shows are lucky enough to make an exit while still on top of the numbers game, but that's the case with CBS' The Big Bang Theory, which will wrap things up this spring after twelve seasons. Star Kaley Cuoco has previously spoken with wistful excitement about the show's big farewell, but now doesn't seem ready to let go of the beloved gig at all. Here's how she explained things in a recent interview:
I don't wanna leave either. Everyone's saying the same thing. It's so sweet...12 years. I don't wanna leave, I don't wanna leave. I said it. I don't wanna leave!
If there were a Beetlejuice-esque monster whose name was "I Don't Wanna Leave," then Kaley Cuoco's trio of utterances would have risen it from its slumber. And that monster could have then wreaked havoc on Jim Parsons and CBS and anyone else involved in making the decision to end The Big Bang Theory with Season 12.
Alas, no such mythical creatures exist that tie directly into The Big Bang Theory's final episodes. There are only the feelings and emotions that Kaley Cuoco and her co-stars are experiencing while having to seriously consider spending the rest of their lives playing other characters beyond Penny, Leonard and the rest.
Of course, that assumption is built atop a previous assumption that The Big Bang Theory is indeed going to close out Season 12 without future possibilities of creator Chuck Lorre convincing the cast members to return for more. Not necessarily for a full new season, but perhaps a one-off special or a limited run of new episodes is potentially viable, considering CBS would likely always welcome the ratings hit back with open arms.
When speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Kaley Cuoco actually made it sound like she's already down for The Big Bang Theory to go through a reboot/revival phase in the very year after it leaves the air for the first time. In her words:
Everyone's doing rebooting. We might as well do it in, like, a year! . . . I'm fine with that.
Sure she was probably being slightly hyperbolic while talking about The Big Bang Theory getting revamped for 2020 audiences, but Kaley Cuoco made it clear that she's not 100% enthusiastic about moving onto other stepping stones in her career and personal life. (At least not empty-handedly.)
Now, we do know that Kaley Cuoco would pro-o-o-o-bably be okay with returning to CBS in the future to work on a Big Bang spinoff series focused entirely on Penny and Johnny Galecki's Leonard. But it's not so clear yet if or when Chuck Lorre would be as interested to return. Lorre is currently busy with the prequel spinoff Young Sheldon, as well as the Netflix comedy The Kominsky Method, which shockingly took home the Best Comedy award at this year's Golden Globes.
Kaley Cuoco is aware that The Big Bang Theory's popularity will continue to thrive through the power of TV reruns. And it wouldn't be an unfair assumption to think that Cuoco and other cast members could live the rest of their days just on the royalties from re-airings, which could reach somewhere around $10 million a year for the highest-paid stars.
When it comes to live-action shows, Kaley Cuoco obviously has preferences for The Big Bang Theory, but the actress will soon be heard in an animated form for the upcoming DC Universe series Harley Quinn. Cuoco will voice the lead villainess for the humor-driven series, which will also feature voicework from talented actors like Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Jason Alexander and more. Cuoco is pumped for fans to get a piece of Harley, but just don't expect her to be anything like Penny.
Thankfully for fans and Kaley Cuoco alike, there is still a half-season of The Big Bang Theory left to air on CBS, where it can be found every Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. There are lots of other great shows hitting primetime in the 2019 midseason, so be sure to keep up with all the big premieres.