You’ve probably already heard about The Big Bang Theory calling it quits after the season that starts next Monday, September 24. If they’re smart, Season 12 will be a long-form victory lap: leaning in to the things the show does best, bringing back fan-fave characters and guest stars and giving Penny (Kaley Cuoco) something substantial to do before her chance is gone forever. 

The news of the show’s impending conclusion broke August 22nd, and Entertainment Weekly was the first to identify Jim Parsons as the cast member most directly responsible for it. The next day, Parsons posted this on Instagram (swipe through for his thoughts):

Some of his castmates chimed in around the ‘gram as well…

And Mayim Bialik posted this video on her Grok Nation site:

Mayim, I will miss you most of all. If you feel like granting any wishes, please go grab either Danica McKellar for a “smart women in real life” reality show about science and math or Fred Savage for a scripted comedy. I don’t know why I want you to create a Blossom/The Wonder Years mash-up, but I’m pretty sure either would be a big winner. 

RELATED: Tween Science and Spycraft Mix on Netflix’s Project Mc2

Despite the big news, it’s early yet for tears, BBT fans. We still have 24 episodes with America’s favorite sitcom, so let’s quickly recap where we left the key players.

  • ShAmy (Parsons & Bialik): Officially married, and by Mark Hamill! (Sorry, Wil Wheaton.) Also, Amy inspired Sheldon to discover super-asymmetry at their wedding. That’ll be a hard day to top!
  • Penny (Cuoco): She and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) co-discovered a comet and she crushed being Amy’s Maid of Honor. Otherwise, she had a pretty stagnant season of general malaise in her pharmaceutical sales career and not a lot of meaty storylines. 
  • Leonard (Johnny Galecki): Validated Sheldon’s big discovery, brokered peace between Sheldon and his brother, president of the tenants’ association. Boring. 
  • Bernadette (Melissa Rauch): Mother of two, still in love with her career. 
  • Howard (Simon Helberg): Father of two; directly responsible for landing Mark Hamill as ShAmy’s wedding officiant. 
  • Raj (Nayyar): Lucky to have his name attached to the comet Penny discovered with his equipment. Disappointingly creepy to a lot of women in Season 11. 
  • Stuart (Kevin Sussman) somehow making more headway with ladies than Raj, thanks to his new assistant manager, Denise (Lauren Lapkus), being a die-hard Star Wars fan. 

The Big Bang Theory returns to CBS on Monday, September 24 at 8/7c.

RELATED: Revisit every episode in Season 11 here!


Leona Laurie