Is Big Bang Theory's Jim Parson A Real Reason The Show Got To An End?
Last night, CBS' popular sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" aired its final episode, bringing to an end twelve Seasons and over 200 episodes of stories. The writers and producers were eager to do more (and we are sure the networks wanted to continue the show), but it was Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) who said he thought it was time to end it.
Debuting in 2007, "The Big Bang Theory" follows the everyday lives of 7 nerdy friends all residing in California. After more than ten years on TV, the show remains a hit for CBS, with impressive average ratings and over 14 million viewers per episode in Live+Same Day for its 24-episode 11th Season. The program wraps up as the longest-running multi-camera series in primetime TV history.
CBS wasn't actually planning on pulling the plug on the show, particularly considering its monster ratings. CBS Entertainment head Kelly Kahl revealed last year that they were having internal discussions about probably ordering Season 13. But while a good number of the main cast has shown interest in reprising their roles as long as the series is around, salary negotiations were said to be a roadblock to The Big Bang Theory's renewal. The same issue was also responsible for the delayed the announcement of Seasons 11 and 12. As it turns out, it did not look like pay was the reason that negotiations fell through. Instead, it was because main star Jim Parsons no longer wants to reprise his role as Sheldon Cooper.
In August, EW reported that the principal reason 'The Big Bang Theory' is ending is that Jim Parsons is ready to walk away from the show. Jim, alongside 4 of the other original cast members - Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Kaley Cuoco, and Simon Helberg - were supposedly going to receive an accumulated $50 million payment, had they elected to sign on for 2 more years, which is something that CBS was striving to negotiate. In the end, things did not work out, with Parsons deciding to not return for Season 13 and 14 of the hit sitcom.
If that was really the case, ending the show is the best option for CBS, and the rest of the cast, given the situation. While 'The Big Bang Theory' technically has 7 main characters, it is Jim's Sheldon at the forefront of almost every massive narrative in the sitcom. And even when the show is not tackling his story, he remains a central point. A proof of Sheldon's popularity is Big Bang Theory producing its very first spinoff, 'Young Sheldon', which follows the early years of Jim's fan-favorite character. The 46-year-old actor has even won several Emmy Awards for his portrayal.
In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Parsons explained why he did not want to play Sheldon anymore:
"It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after [Season] 12 was up. I don't know if it's because I'm an Aries or just because maybe I'm in touch with myself. Whatever it is, once I had that thought, I was like, 'Well, that's your answer.'"
Ironically, Jim is the only member of the cast that will stay in the 'Big Bang Theory' ecosystem gratitude to his voice-over performance on the prequel spinoff 'Young Sheldon.'
"There was no factor; there was no situation that I was like, 'Well, I've had enough of that.' No. There was nothing like that. It was just…when you know, you know. And you're susceptible and thrown around by the whims of your own existence and getting to a certain age and your life changes and suddenly you just think different," Parsons continued.
"It has been fascinating to think about who I was 12 years ago. And sometimes when I have trouble learning a line or saying a line of Sheldon's right now, it's hard to know why specifically. But it's like, you're not the same person you were. There is a possibility that this actually became more difficult for you in a way. And I don't know what that means but it's like you just change."
Series creator Chuck Lorre revealed that he considered moving the show forward without Sheldon but eventually decided not to. Chuck had earlier found himself in that position when Charlie Sheen was dismissed from "Two and a Half Men." Ashton Kutcher ultimately replaced him, and the show continued for a bit longer before taking its final bow in 2015.
In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parsons was candid as to why the cast rejected millions more from CBS to make another Season.
"It's both as complex and as simple as just feeling innately that it was time," he explained. "It speaks to a lot of things, none of them bad.
"There is no negative reason to stop doing Big Bang. It felt like we have been able to do this for so many years now, it doesn't feel like there is anything left on the table. Not that we couldn't keep doing it, but it feels like we've chewed all the meat off this bone. I guess at a personal level, it feels like the right time in my life."
He went on: "I don't know what's next for me. It's not like there is something specific I am aiming for. I'm firmly in my middle age now. I don't know how much longer I can wear [the T-shirts] without looking really long in the tooth. In a way, it's exciting. What is this next chapter of life?
"What is this next chapter for all of us? It will be very, very sad when it does end, even knowing [I am] okay with it. People are okay when they graduate but there are frequently tears at graduation. It's hard to say goodbye to people that you have worked with for so long."
Over the past couple of years, Jim Parsons has been branching out, doing more than his annual TV gig, as he performed in movies like the Oscar-nominated' Hidden Figures' and 'A Kid Like Jake'. He also returned to the theater via 'The Boys in the Band' alongside Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, and Andrew Rannells. Parsons dabbled in radio show hosting with SiriusXM's 'Jim Parsons is Too Stupid for Politics. Apart from the last Season of 'The Big Bang Theory', supporters can also see him in another film, 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile', alongside Lily Collins and Zac Efron.
We don't know precisely how Parsons has changed after portraying Sheldon Cooper for so long, but we believe his niche pop culture knowledge has grown tremendously. What's your reaction to 'The Big Bang Theory' coming to an end after twelve years, is it long overdue or you would have loved it continues? Tell us in the comment section and don't forget to share this article with fans of 'The Big Bang Theory'.