The Big Bang Theory Is Getting A Farewell Special

the big bang theory season 12 penny sheldon cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Only a few weeks are left before the series finale of The Big Bang Theory wraps the show's 12-season and 279-episode run, but CBS has found a way to help fans say goodbye to the series. A farewell special will air the very same night as the series finale, following an episode of Young Sheldon. Here's what you need to know about the special.

Called Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell, the special will air at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS, following the Season 2 finale of Young Sheldon and the one-hour series finale of The Big Bang Theory. The special follows stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco behind the scenes on a trip down memory lane.

Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell won't just be that trip down memory lane, although it will include some of the most unforgettable clips from the run of the series. Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco will share their favorite moments from playing Leonard and Penny, and surely choosing a single favorite moment couldn't have been easy. The Big Bang Theory holds the record as the longest-running multi-camera comedy in TV history with 279 episodes, so that means a lot of moments for the stars to choose from.

Additionally, the stars will share secrets from backstage as well as their own memories from the 12 years on the show. Sadly, there's one particular Penny secret that likely won't be revealed. Throw in interviews, tours of iconic sets such as Leonard and Sheldon's apartment (now Leonard and Penny's apartment), and Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell could be exactly what fans need to say their goodbyes.

The special (as well as the series finale of The Big Bang Theory and season finale of Young Sheldon) will air Thursday, May 16, with Big Bang at 8 p.m. ET and Young Sheldon at 9 p.m. ET. The good news for Sheldon Cooper fans is that Young Sheldon won't be going anywhere any time soon; the bad news is that Jim Parsons likely won't contribute on-screen.

Hey, at least those voiceovers are likely to continue. That's one way for The Big Bang Theory to continue after the series finale. After all, no announcements have been made about a another spinoff actually happening. Kaley Cuoco has already revealed how she's moving on: the actress is executive producing and starring in a miniseries based on the book The Flight Attendant.

You'll also be able to find her on DC Universe, although not in the flesh. She voices Harley Quinn for an animated series to debut on the DC Comics streaming platforms. As for Johnny Galecki, perhaps he'll return to the sitcom circut to appear more regularly on The Conners. He ruled out appearing as a series regular, but did say "I certainly hope to visit as much as possible." Maybe Darlene and David's relationship isn't so dead after all!

As for the Big Bang Theory finale, don't expect anything too explosive. It could be quite emotional, though, if Kaley Cuoco's reaction is anything to go by. Viewers may want to stock up on the tissues before tuning in on May 16!

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).