CBS has decided to end its top comedy, The Big Bang Theory, in 2019 after twelve seasons, and a new report claims that it all happened because of star Jim Parsons. The actor, who plays Dr. Sheldon Cooper, was ready to walk away from the show even though CBS wanted the cast to return for two more seasons.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Parsons and his co-stars — Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg — each make about $1 million an episode, which meant he turned down about $50 million in salary plus profits because he was ready to say goodbye to the show that made him famous.
It has been reported that the rest of the cast wanted to continue on, with Cuoco even going so far as to say that she would have stayed on the show for another 20 years.
Now, USA Today reports that the entire cast and crew were in tears when they learned that this would be their final season.
After CBS made the announcement that the show was ending, Parson posted a pic on social media of himself with his castmates but did not respond to the report that he was the driving force behind it
In the lengthy caption, Parsons added that he was grateful for the show’s devoted viewers, the writers and crew, and the cast which he called his “playmates.”
As for other cast reactions, on Instagram Cuoco told fans she was “drowning in tears,” and Bialik wrote on her blog, “Am I happy? Of course not.”
Parson’s character is so integral to The Big Bang Theory, there is no way they could have continued on without him, so the ensemble comedy will come to an end after the 12th season finale airs in the spring of 2019. Even though it is ending at least two years earlier than CBS would have liked, The Big Bang Theory is still the longest-running multi-camera series in the history of television.
During his 12-year run, Parsons has won four Emmys and one Golden Globe, and his character was so popular, it resulted in the spinoff Young Sheldon, in which Parsons has a voice-over role. It makes sense that the 45-year-old would be ready to move onto different projects with the character of Sheldon pretty much doing and saying everything possible over the last 11 years. At the end of last season, he finally married his longtime girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik).
Catch the final season of The Big Bang Theory Monday nights on CBS.