The Big Bang Theory ran for 12 seasons and won several Emmy awards. The show was and still is hugely popular among audiences. Even though audiences would've stuck around for more episodes, the show ultimately reached its conclusion in 2019.
Jim Parsons' exit from the series is widely believed to be the reason for is cancelation. After the series finale, Parsons delved into producing other projects. He was even involved in the Big Bang Theory spin-off series Young Sheldon.
However, Parsons once seemed to consider another spin-off idea while speaking with the rest of his cast mates right before the finale.
In Jessica Radloff's book, "The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series," lots of behind-the-scenes details are revealed. Among them are how Jim Parsons' departure from the series impacted its end altogether. There were also the feelings of co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, who say they weren't expecting Parsons to walk away.
Cuoco said that the cast cried for hours at the meeting where Parsons announced his departure. Producers announced the show's end at the same meeting. Galecki said that he didn't like how the meeting was handled. Both actors said the news blindsided them, since they thought they were going to renew their contracts.
Parsons told Yahoo! Entertainment that he is pleased with his decision to leave the show. However, he also notes that he feels bad about how it affected his co-stars.
"It's never nice to hear that you've done anything that's even accidentally made somebody angry or feel bad," he said. "But I was doing what I had to do, and that was the best way for me to handle it. To be honest, we weren't the kind of group that I felt needed to have a group meeting in that way."
He went on to say that he didn't think his departure would spell the end of the series.
"I can't say I was surprised, but I equally would not have been surprised if it had gone on," Parsons added. "There was part of me that had a sense of delight that it might go on without me! But that isn't what happened."
When Parsons made his exit from The Big Bang Theory, it was clear he wanted to pursue other projects.
In 2022, Parsons spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his career after The Big Bang Theory. Parsons began by explaining how quickly he headed back to New York City after wrapping the series.
"We did our final performance on a Tuesday night," Parsons began. "On Wednesday, we did the handprints and stuff at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Thursday morning, I was on a plane out of L.A."
Part of Parsons' evolution following the series was going from actor to producer.
"I was not well versed enough in Hollywood machinations to know that, at some point during Big Bang renegotiations, this would be a thing — that part of one new deal was my own production company," Parsons said. "For what? I'd only been an actor."
He continued, "I looked at it as a gift, but I remember saying at the time that I didn't want to develop work for me. I didn't want to be another actor with a vanity project production company."
Parsons described producing the film A Kid Like Jake as a "headache" and said the fact that it was a low budget independent production contributed to that.
"I'm sure I'd feel differently now, but it was just more ragtag than I was comfortable with," he explained. "I didn't know where to look for support, and producing and acting at the same time was really challenging. Our production company was a smaller group then. Having six of us on staff has changed things."
In their Entertainment Weekly interview before the series finale, the cast was half-seriously asked about possible spin-offs. Among the titles suggested were "Penny Loves Leonard," "Dr. Amy," and "NCIS: Raj."
"There will probably be an NCIS: Raj," Cuoco joked. "Like 10 of them. Or Just Raj."
Kunal Nayyar responded, "I'll be right back! I have to make a phone call."
While the rest of the cast was joking around, Parsons actually seemed to be taking it seriously. This was even after the spin-off Young Sheldon had premiered.
"That's a very good idea," Parsons said. "Lou Grant was a wonderful drama, and it was a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
Galecki said, "I've had weird dreams about a single-camera version of Big Bang. What do you do? Whose character? These characters are so a part of each other's lives! Even a spin-off with two, you'd be like, what happened to the other five? Did they all die in the elevator?"
"They might be killing us all off," Cuoco said. "We don't know what happens in the finale."
That's when Bialik made a suggestion about why none of those proposed spin-offs will ever happen.
"That's the answer to your question," Bialik said. "We can't do a spin-off because we all die."
"They don't see us die," Simon Helberg began. "We get into the elevator, and then the cables snap. It cuts to Chuck's vanity card. You hear an explosion. We all ended with a big bang!"