After twelve series, The Big Bang Theory will be leaving a black hole in our television schedules as the science-based sitcom comes to an end.
The TV show followed the mishaps of physicists Leonard Hofstader (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in their flat, as they sparred with waitress Penny (Kaley Cuoco) who lives down the hall.
With just a few weeks left before the show draws to a close, here’s everything you need to know about The Big Bang Theory finale…
When is the final episode of Big Bang Theory on TV?
The Big Bang Theory, which airs on CBS in America, will air its final episode on May 16th.
With E4 screening the show in the UK slightly later than its American counterpart, we can expect to see the final episode in the summer months.
Can we expect to see any guest stars in the final episode?
The 12th series will see some of the show’s most high-profile guest stars to date, with William Shatner and cult film director Kevin Smith starring in the show’s long-awaited Dungeons and Dragons episode.
As of yet, there’s been no big-name guest stars for the very final episode, but is likely to feature all the show’s old favourites, including Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), Howard (Simon Helberg), Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Amy (Mayim Bialik).
What will happen in the final episode of The Big Bang Theory?
Director Mark Cendrowski said the show’s very final episode, which will be an hour-long special, is not completely finished yet.
But we’re not likely to see any huge deaths or sudden surprises, with the final episode aiming to show that “people’s lives just go on.”
"I honestly don't know that much," he told Deadline. “The final episode has not been written completely yet. It's been outlined.
“The characters will be giving the idea that their lives continue on. When we learned that this was to be the last season … writers have approached it, not so much as the show is wrapping up and we’ll never see them again and the finality of it all.
“It’s not going to be an atomic bomb where things blow up and you never see anybody again.”
However, Cuoco has said there will be a frisson of excitement about the final ep.
“I'm glad we're going out with a bang. I hate saying that, but it's kinda true," she told E! News. "We wanted to go out on top."
Is there a trailer for the final episode of The Big Bang Theory?
While there is there no trailer for the very final episode, there is a teaser for series 12 on the whole.
What have the cast said about The Big Bang Theory ending?
It’s clearly been an emotional time for the cast of the show, with Parsons writing a long-winded farewell to the series on Instagram.
He concluded his letter by saying, “I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”
Galecki also dubbed filming the final series of the series as “very surreal”.
Taking to his own Instagram, he wrote, “273 episodes filmed. 26 days left on the Big Bang stage. 6 episodes to be filmed. 66 days until the 1 hour finale airs.”
"All VERY surreal. Much love to all the fans."
Cuoco added that the cast may be so tearful when it comes to filming the final episode that they won’t have an audience there while taping.
“We're actually going to pre-shoot the whole thing, so we'll have shot it, and then we will have an audience taping. That was probably because they knew I'd be crying the entire time,” she told E! News.
"So we still want the audience experience… so we're going to still do the audience, but we will have taped it and shot it beforehand, so if the tears come unexpectedly, then that's just what's going to happen, because I guarantee you it's going to happen.”
She also shared artwork from the series finale on her social media, captioning the snap, “If it wasn’t real before, it’s real now!” followed by crying emoji.
Will there be any spin-offs of The Big Bang Theory?
The Big Bang Theory will live on in the shape of Young Sheldon, the spin-off looking at the high school years of Cooper; with a crossover episode between the two shows expecting to happen at some point in the future.
However, CBS president Kelly Kahl has hinted that a second spin-off series could also be in the pipeline after having conversations with Big Bang's creator Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros TV.
He said to Deadline, "The ball is squarely in their court. If they want to talk to us about it, we are here to listen."
Cuoco is keen to return for another show, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I don't wanna leave!
"Everyone's doing rebooting. We might as well do it in, like, a year. I'm fine with that!"
However, not everyone is so keen; Galecki has since said there should “absolutely not” be a spin-off, particularly if Parsons does not appear in the show.
Nayaar, who has played particle astrophysicist Raj, is also keen to put the show to rest.
“I’m taking those cargo pants and burning them,” he said. “I need a little bit of a break, as much as I’d miss playing that character. I’m ready to move on to different things now.”
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8pm on E4