Stars of “The Big Bang Theory” have had months to prepare for what is likely to be a tearful goodbye to a series that has been dropping knowledge and drawing laughter for more than a decade now.
The announcement that the series was officially going to come to an “epic creative close” in 2019 was a shock to both fans and cast members alike in August, when Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions first confirmed the news.
Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the show, publicly expressed online at the time how devastated she was to give up her role.
“Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in Season 4. I love my job. I love my castmates, and I feel such appreciation for our incredible crew, our brave writers, our entire staff, and our amazing fans,” she wrote on her personal website in August. “So many people are a part of our ‘Big Bang’ family,” she said. “This is hard. I love coming to work and pretending to be Amy. She’s a riot. She’s me, and I am her. And soon she will not be mine to create.”
Kaley Cuoco was just as surprised to find out the long-running comedy was ending after Season 12, telling Extra in September she “would have done 20 more years.”
The final episode of “The Big Bang Theory” will air in May 2019.
Before the nerdy comedy officially comes to a close, take a look at where some of your favorite characters are headed next.
Jim Parsons, who plays genius Sheldon Cooper, was possibly the main reason the network decided to pull the show off the air. He reportedly opted to not renew his role after 2019, leading producers to decide to call it quits rather than attempt to move forward without one of the series’ beloved characters.
Though Parsons never officially confirmed this was the case, the 45-year-old did hint that he felt it was the “right time” to call it quits.
“There is no negative reason to stop doing ‘Big Bang,’” he told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Citing his age, Parsons said he’s ready to try new challenges in his career — though he’s not entirely sure what that may entail at this exact moment.
“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.”
“It’s not like there is something specific I am aiming for. … I don’t know how much longer I can wear [the T-shirts] without looking really long in the tooth,” he added. “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. “
In the meantime, Parsons will continue to do voice work and executive produce the “Big Bang” spinoff “Young Sheldon,” starring Iain Armitage. He recently finished filming the upcoming biopic “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile,” featuring Zac Efron who plays the eerie role of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. He’s also slated to produce and play a drag queen in a movie based on the play “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” according to Variety. In December, it was revealed Parsons would also star in “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies,” directed by “The Big Sick’s” Michael Showalter, Deadline reported.
Kaley Cuoco, also known as Penny on the show, has been open about her disappointment that the show is ending. The actress also wanted to make it clear that she would be open to a potential spinoff with her character if it was ever an option.
“If [co-creator, writer and producer Chuck Lorre] called me and said, ‘Let’s do something’ tomorrow, I would,” Cuoco previously told Extra.
Cuoco already has a few projects in the work, however.
She’s developing a limited series called “The Flight Attendant” with her new production company Yes, Norman Productions. She’ll play the lead character in the show.
“Flight attendant Cassandra Bowden wakes in her hotel room hungover from the night before in Dubai with a dead body lying next to her,” IMDB explains in a summary of the plot.
In addition to working on the series, Cuoco will go animated. The 33-year-old is set to executive produce and voice Harley Quinn in a new adult cartoon series based on the popular character.
“I’ve always loved animation. I did it years ago, and I haven’t been in the animation world in a while,” Cuoco told Entertainment Weekly. “[Harley Quinn] is so edgy, it’s obviously a very adult comedy, and with such a world-renowned character, it’s been a blast to record.”
Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard Hofstadter on “Big Bang,” is the glue that holds the show together. Galecki helped introduce his neighbor Penny to his science friends, and the rest is history.
He, too, expects the ending of the show to be extremely emotional for both the cast and fans.
“It’ll be very bittersweet. There will be a lot of tears. I don’t know what we’re going to do with Kaley on the last episode — she’s going to be waterworks!” he told People.
After they wrap of the show’s final season, Galecki is expected to ramp up the role that helped launch his acting career: David Healy, Darlene’s ex-husband, on “The Conners.”
In 2018, he only appeared in one episode of the “Roseanne” reboot due to his hectic schedule shooting “The Big Bang Theory.”
“If they come back next year on ‘Roseanne’ and do another eight or nine [episodes] I would love to do more than one next year,” told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour last year.
Mayim Bialik has probably been the most vocal person on the show to discuss her sadness about its ending — and time to digest the news hasn’t made things any less “emotional,” she says.
Bialik recently described to In Touch what life has been like as she prepares to film the show’s final episode.
“Every week kind of feels like, ‘This is the last time we’ll be doing this kind of script.’ It’s been such a long run, and so it’s kind of hard to imagine life after this,” she admitted to the magazine, according to Closer Weekly, adding that she’s been trying to “capture every moment.”
At the show’s close, Bialik will be moving on to voice “The B.O.O.T.H.” on “The Inspector Chronicles,” a role she played before in 2013, according to IMDB.
Kunal Nayyar, who portrays a once shy Rajesh Koothrappali on the show, has a lot in the works.
Nayyar’s family film “Think Like a Dog,” starring Megan Fox is in post-production and Trolls World Tour, the sequel to the 2016 animated hit starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell, is in pre-production. He’ll be bringing back his role as “Guy Diamond” in the animated movie.
He’ll also star alongside Dakota Fanning in “Sweetness in the Belly,” a movie inspired by Camilla Gibb’s novel. Scenes for “Sweetness” were shot in Dublin; filming began in November, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Melissa Rauch, who plays beloved blonde Bernadette Rostenkowski, is also getting ready to move on from “Big Bang.”
Rauch will play the role of Bethany on the drama “Ode to Joy,” directed by Jason Winter. It is set for release in 2019.
She will also join Antonio Banderas, Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep in the upcoming film “The Laundromat,” which tells a story about the Panama Papers, according to The Playlist. The movie is in post-production.
It appears Los Angeles native Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz, doesn’t have anything in the works — at least, he doesn’t yet.
His IMDB page just lists “The Big Bang Theory” as his latest project.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.