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Why The Big Bang Theory Ended After Season 12 (Was It Canceled?)
2023/06/26

After 12 seasons, finally came to an end, but it still left its viewers and even its cast in shock as to why the sitcomwas canceled. released 279 episodes from September 2007 to May 2019, and although its first few seasons had a lukewarm reception, the show eventually found its footing, became television’s highest-rated comedy (via ), and bagged numerous awards. That is why many were dismayed that there never was a season 13.

followed the geeky group of Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Howard (Simon Helberg), and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), as they befriended aspiring actress Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and fellow scientists Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Bialik).

Much of the show’s humor and storyline came from the characters navigating their careers, relationships, and contrasting personalities. However, just months after , viewers learned that the show’s conclusion was looming, prompting many to question why was canceled and will come back.

The Big Bang Theory Wasn't Canceled - The Show Ended Because Of Jim Parsons

was no stranger to consistent multiple-season renewals, and in March 2017, it was again renewed for two seasons, running until the 2018-19 television season. Viewers were then caught off guard when in August 2018, it was announced that the show’s upcoming 12th season would be its last.

In a joint statement, CBS, Warner Bros., and Chuck Lorre Productions said the sitcom would come to an “”. As it turned out, wasn't canceled by the network; the decision was primarily influenced by Jim Parsons’ decision not to renew his contract for season 13, even though he stood to make $50 million to stay (via ).

Even though he loved embodying Sheldon Cooper, eventually he grew exhausted between the show and his other acting commitments. His decision also reportedly came after the death of one of his dogs, pushing him to confront the concept of mortality (via ). After all, towards , Parsons was already 46 years old, and he simply wanted to make the most of his acting career and his life while he still can.

Of course, without Sheldon, there would be no, forcing the show to end earlier than planned and bringing into question why was canceled.

The Big Bang Theory Cast Had Mixed Feelings About TBBT Ending

Months before the ending announcement, Galecki also shared a sentiment similar to Parsons’. At the time, he felt that everyone in was already comfortable with the idea of wrapping the show up after 12 seasons (via ). However, that was apparently not the case with Kaley Cuoco, as she admitted being “” after hearing the news (). While she wanted to continue the show, she simply could not do it without Parsons.

On the other hand, Mayim Bialik told that the decision to had not been simple, and that there were “”

While Bialik did not elaborate further, her statement could pertain to anything between unsuccessful negotiations between networks and the cast wanting to move on with their respective careers. Regardless, season 12 delivered on its promise of tying up loose ends while setting up a fulfilling life ahead for its beloved characters. Sheldon and Amy won the Nobel Prize, while Leonard and Penny were expecting their first child. Howard and Bernadette successfully adjusted to parenting, while Raj continued his search for true love.

The characters’ future lives are also hinted at in , the spin-off prequel of of his own.

How Many Seasons Will Young Sheldon Have?

the prequel spin-off, follows the life of Sheldon Cooper during his childhood, and it's currently six seasons into its run and has been renewed for a seventh. The show debuted in 2017 following an idea Parsons ran past producers, becoming greenlit after a special preview episode received overwhelmingly positive audience feedback. Despite 's final season airing in 2019, is still going strong.

spin-off's sixth season ended in May 2023, and has been renewed for another one, meaning its run will be at least seven seasons long. It's managed to garner a strong fanbase of both veterans and newcomers, defying the expectations of some critics who believed it would be a short-lived cash-grab and Warner Bros. Studioswhen it was first announced. Audiences have warmed to the characters introduced in and series mainstays like Georgie, Mandy, and Connie "Meemaw" Tucker have proved engaging enough to support six seasons of non-related stories.

When returned for its sixth season, there was a whole host of themes to tackle, from George and Mary's marital issues to Georgie and Mandy's unexpected pregnancy.

With Sheldon going through puberty being the major narrative of season 6, there are a lot of years still has available to cover before Dr. Cooper takes up his post at Caltech in time to meet the permed Leonard as seen in many flashbacks to their early roommate days. Though it didn't reach season 13, the sitcom lasted 12 seasons, and there's nothing to suggest that can't enjoy an equally long runtime.

The Next Big Bang Spin-Off Could Continue The Story After Season 12

, as another one is currently in development. Though details on the upcoming spin-off are scarce, there are still some positive updates.

Chuck Lorre, who created the original series, is returning for the spin-off, and given how connected to the characters he is, the project will likely be a faithful follow-up. Instead of looking backward like , this spin-off could be set after and continue the story after season 12, which would be the perfect replacement for season 13, though another prequel can't be ruled out just yet.

A sequel could solve many of the and even the plotholes in the main series. If the next spin-off is another prequel it could also run into continuity problems and contradict certain elements of , creating more plotholes.

Above all else, there's simply more of a demand to see the beloved adult characters return. The most likely (and most exciting) option is a spin-off focusing on Raj and Howard. The dynamic duo has great chemistry, and Helberg and Nayyar are the likeliest to return.

What The Big Bang Theory Cast Have Done Since Season 12

Eveb though is over, it hasn't slowed down the former cast's careers in the slightest. Parsons has continued to narrate , and has also appeared in other shows like , and . He also starred in the romantic drama . After

ended, Galecki went back to his roots and returned for the spinoff as David Healy. He's also been in and . Bialik is a host of and also starred in .

Cuoco (Penny) , which earned the actress Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. She also voiced Harley Quinn in the animated series of the same name, and of all cast members seems to have had the most success outside the show. The actor also stars in the TV series , which is about a pregnant real estate agent who is obsessed with true crime. Cuoco is set to appear in the Amazon thriller movie , which has a similar premise to .

Helberg (Howard) took a break for a while after

, and reentered the acting world with the musical drama . He also appeared in the film which was written and directed by his co-star Bialik. Nayyar continued working in television on shows like and . His latest project, , is in post-production. Melissa Rauch (Bernadette) has since made cameos in and , but her venture with stands out. Ultimately, the cast of has effectively moved on since the show's conclusion.

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