Sitcoms succeed at longevity. Some of the most memorable, culturally-penetrative sitcoms have gone on for several seasons, with shows like "Cheers" and "Modern Family" lasting for over a decade, producing hundreds of episodes. While having a steady gig to show up to year after year is a dream come true for actors, at a certain point, there's a demand for newer, greener pastures. While CBS would have wanted "The Big Bang Theory" to last as long as fans demanded it, it was time for Jim Parsons and his costars to call it curtains.
And so "The Big Bang Theory" came to a close, solidifying its legacy as one of the small screen's most iconic comedies. Since the series finale in 2019, Parsons and his fellow creatives have moved on to different projects. Kaley Cuoco, for example, basks in praise for her headlining role in "The Flight Attendant," while Mayim Bialik has everyone's dream job: hosting "Jeopardy!" The Sheldon Cooper actor has continued to act, appearing in films like "The Boys in the Band" and lending his talents to stage productions such as "A Man of No Importance."
Besides a role in Ryan Murphy's miniseries "Hollywood," Parsons has mostly stepped away from television. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor opened up about how this was a strategic choice after his decade-plus stint as "The Big Bang Theory's" lead. "At this point, no," the actor said when asked if the future had more television roles in store for him. "...What my spirit has been craving is new people, new experiences. I exercised the muscles of an ensemble that went on for 12 years. Now I want to be surprised."
Jim Parsons, who emerged as the comedy's standout actor, was reportedly offered north of $50 million to stay on for Season 13 and 14, per Vanity Fair. An eight-figure salary didn't tempt the actor, who was eager to sign off and say goodbye to Sheldon Cooper, a character he occupied for most of his career. For Parsons, leaving "The Big Bang Theory" was an important decision, telling David Tenant on his podcast that it was a matter of utilizing his time more efficiently, revealing that his father died at the age of 52. At the time, Parsons was a few years his junior, ready to think about his morality. "I said, 'If you told me that like my father, I had six years left to live, I think there's other things I need to try and do,'" the actor said.
Leaving "The Big Bang Theory" has freed up Parsons' time, allowing him to explore a variety of different characters. While it may have been nerve-wracking for Parsons to leave Sheldon Cooper behind, he's made peace with his decision to retire the character. "I definitely am at peace with it," the actor told The Washington Post. "... I see that whole 12 years on 'Big Bang' as such a glorious, creatively prosperous time." While the series may have been a formative experience, Parsons is grateful that he's in a position to take on projects like "Spoiler Alert," saying he "really love[s] [his] life as it is right now."