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One imagines there is more than a little pressure being felt by The Big Bang Theory's showrunner Steve Holland, at least when it comes to finding an ending for one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time. While some shows are crafted with an eventual end goal in mind, Big Bang's creative team hasn't ever really worked like that. However, Holland is now revealing that a plan for the finale has been concocted.
We write everything in order and we’re writing Episode 19 right now and [the finale] is Episode 24. We’re shooting 17, writing 19, so it’ll still be a few more weeks away before we get to that. But we know what the finale will be. We’ve known what the big pieces are for a while, but now we know what the smaller pieces are, as well, and what we’re driving towards. We have it worked out and we’re excited and nervous and, like everybody who’s watching, we love these characters so much and we want to give them a send off that they deserve.
Luckily for all involved, The Big Bang Theory's central plots generally don't center on highly complex and super-serialized narrative beats that would almost require intricate forethought to successfully close things out. This isn't Westworld, as amusing as it would be to see the emotionless host versions of all these characters.
As such, showrunner Steve Holland isn't as concerned with airtight plotting as he is with making sure the beloved characters themselves get highlighted as much as possible, and are sent off in ways that fans can celebrate. I wouldn't expect any big cliffhangers inciting audiences to clamor for a spinoff, possibly one centered on Leonard and Penny, or whoever.
The Big Bang Theory's series finale may not be completely written and tied up with a superhero-emblazoned bow, but Steve Holland finally knows how to fit all the pieces together. But as he put it to Entertainment Tonight during the show's stage dedication at TCA's 2019 winter press tour, there are still quite a few more episodes to go before that finale even gets here. Here's his hope for fans.
I hope they’re prepared to laugh, I hope they’re prepared to be sad and to be nostalgic and to have to, at some point, say goodbye,
As far as the finale's tone goes, Steve Holland admits that he and the writers don't want to simply give Sheldon, Amy and the rest a sendoff that only delivers fan-service conclusions. At the same time, though, the creative team obviously loves these characters as much as anyone watching at home, and they're inclined to give them the most positive send-offs as can be.
Hopefully the show doesn't go the Friends route of pulling its close-knit characters apart by having them move out of that apartment building. I would almost be into William Shatner's long-awaited cameo serving as a flash-forward of what Sheldon will be like in the future, though, if anyone is taking suggestions.
The Big Bang Theory airs every Thursday night on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET. With less than a dozen episodes left in the entire series, viewers will no doubt want to savor every remaining moment that isn't already airing in repeats. When not doing that, though, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.