After 12 years on our screens, US science sitcom The Big Bang Theory is set to finish in 2019.
The comedy’s final season starts airing in the US this October, with the last episode scheduled to hit screens in May next year. With a total of 279 episodes, Big Bang will go out as TV’s longest-running multi-camera comedy in history.
Confirming the news on the show’s Twitter account, Warner Bros, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions issued a statement, saying they were “forever grateful to our fans for their support of The #BigBangTheory during the past twelve seasons”.
They also added fans can expect an “epic creative close” to the show.
"We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring #TheBigBangTheory to an epic creative close.” -Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions
So, why is Big Bang ending? Although the show didn’t reveal the reasons it was going off the air, EW reports star Jim Parsons was ready to depart the sitcom. They say Parsons – who plays the show’s breakout character, the ever-neurotic Sheldon Cooper – walked away from a deal that would see him stay for another two series, calling time on the role after 12 years.
After debuting in 2007, The Big Bang Theory – which also stars Kaley Cuoco (as Penny), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh) and Simon Helberg (Howard) – drew in major audiences, with episodes since its sixth season attracting 18 million US viewers. The show has won seven Emmys from 46 nominations, including four Outstanding Lead Actor wins for Parsons.
Since its first episode, the comedy has aired on E4 in the UK, several weeks behind the US broadcast.