The Big Bang Theory: New Book Reveals Backstage Drama Surrounding the Decision to End Hit Sitcom

A new book about The Big Bang Theory reveals the behind-the-scenes drama that surrounded the decision to bring the hit sitcom to an end after 12 seasons.

It was the summer of 2018, ahead of Season 12, when Jim Parsons decided he was ready for a change. “I don’t think there was a part of me that actually thought I would do more seasons [of Big Bang] after the twelfth,” Parsons explains in the oral history The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series by Jessica Radloff (order here). “I was ready to… get out of the security of the show to fully find out what was next for me.”

He shared how he felt with close friend and co-star Simon Helberg, who was also contemplating his next chapter. “Now, that didn’t mean that we, in any way, expected that the show would certainly end,” Helberg clarifies, “or that there wouldn’t be any kind of attempt from the producers or the studio or the network to keep the show running, whether or not we were involved.”

But according to Parsons, “nothing had come up about contracts” by the time cast and crew reconvened in August for the start of Season 12. “I felt like a liar at that [first] table read,” he says. “I knew that at the end of these next 24 episodes, that was it for me. So I asked [executive producers] Chuck [Lorre] and Steve [Molaro] if we could talk.”

The read-through took place on a Wednesday afternoon, and the meeting with Lorre, Molaro and Parsons occurred the following morning. “There was never a question about continuing on without him,” Molaro recalls. “The show was this ensemble, and the thought of doing some strange version without him didn’t seem right.”

For the next six days, the cast was kept in the dark as Lorre and then-Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Peter Roth addressed the matter with executives at CBS and WB.

Scroll down to read about the chain of events that followed…