Why was the Big Bang Theory really cancelled?

In America alone, the final series had an average viewership of 17.31 million people per episode. Okay, that was the lowest viewership since the fifth season, but hardly rates as a fail – they were on their 12th season. By that point, a 30 second commercial in the show cost advertisers $285k. But to counterbalance that, the top five actors, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, were all earning $1million each per episode after negotiating a deal collectively. Overall, the show was still popular, and the stars were earning well. But were they happy with what they were producing?


Standards will inevitably slip when you produce so much content. The need to come up with fresh ideas often takes the show away from its core values, but that doesn't seem to be the case. When Kaley Cuoco was interviewed on The One Show, she said she and Johnny Galecki wanted the show to continue. "I started freaking out about the comparisons there would be, or what my next project would be," she said. "But then I realised you can't compare anything to Big Bang." No wonder she's saying that. The cast worked for three and a half days for 24 weeks a year. That's $285,000 per day for each of the main five actors. It's safe to say they'll never earn that amount again.

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons was arguably the show's biggest star. He didn't have all the best lines, but most of the most memorable scenes were stolen by him. Some viewers blame the show's cancellation on him, but that's not entirely fair. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parsons gave his views on why The Big Bang Theory had to come to an end. "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," he said before adding, "Not that we couldn't keep doing it, but it feels like we've chewed all the meat off this bone," so he felt the show had run its course.


Before the rumours circulated that the show would be cancelled, producer Chuck Lorre said he wouldn't continue the show without all three principal leads. Lorre was in the middle of renewal talks with the network when Parsons confirmed that he would not be renewing his contract. In an Instagram post, the four-time Emmy award winner wrote, "I guess at a personal level, it feels like the right time in my life. 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."

Beaten Down

Jim Parsons has been quizzed a lot about his decision to leave the show, and there are many rumours. Was it "the right time", or was there more to it? It seems from other quotes that Parsons realised he wanted to do other things with his life. Close to the time he made his decision, his dog died. He couldn't be there for his pet because he had to work. That made him realise he didn't want to let life pass him by and take the time to look around instead. The fact that he was just six years younger than the age his father passed away also helped Parsons conclude that the time was right for a change.

Reunion Show

There's no official plan to get the show back on air, but Kaley Cuoco told E! News that she would be very interested in taking part if a reunion show was produced. A Friends reunion is happening in 2021 on HBO, which is what prompted the question. Although she's interested, Cuoco said, "I think in a few years, or whenever anyone's open to it, I definitely will be down for that. It was a life-changing experience for all of us, and it'd be great to do that for the fans, too, because we had such an amazing fan base that stuck with us for so long." Jim Parsons hasn't ruled it out, but he's also saying it's too soon.

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