The twelfth series of the long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory is set to be the show’s last, with the comedy leaving a distinctive (and black) hole in our schedules.
While the programme hasn't always been popular with critics, the Big Bang Theory has still managed to pull in an American audience of over 18 million at the peak of its popularity.
It is this dedicated band of TBBT fans, who are keen to follow the adventures of the socially awkward physicists, which has led CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl to consider another spin-off once the show goes off-air for good later this year.
While he admits he has not had “formal discussions” with showrunner Chuck Lorre or Warner Bros about a secondary show, he added to Deadline, “The ball is squarely in their court. If they want to talk to us about it, we are here to listen.”
The Big Bang Theory already has one spin-off in the shape of Young Sheldon, which follows the adventures of Sheldon Cooper as an unruly child genius – played by child actor Iain Armitage. Jim Parsons, who portrays Sheldon in the original series, also serves as the spin-off’s narrator.
Meanwhile, the cast of The Big Bang Theory have admitted it has been “emotional” on set as they begin to film the final few episodes of the series.
Speaking on the Ellen Degeneres Show earlier this week, actor Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny in the series, explained, “I was doing a scene with [Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard] just before the holiday… and just out of nowhere I started bawling.
“The crew – all the camera guys and everyone came out and were like, ‘We’re so glad you cried because we’ve been waiting to cry,’ and then they all gave us this huge group hug and we all cried for like 10 minutes.”
However, Parsons has admitted he has yet to shed a tear for the show’s finale.
“I haven't cried yet,” he said. "I have a very deep fear – seriously – that the most unexpected thing is going to happen. I'm going to absolutely lose my s***.
"I'm worried something is going to trigger me, like deep down, something is going to be, like, 'Oh! I didn't know that was there! That hurts."
The Big Bang Theory will conclude later this year