It looks as though the ending of The Big Bang Theory came down to just one of the cast members thinking it was time to move on.
According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, the cast was indeed in negotiations for seasons 13 and 14, but it was Jim Parsons (Dr. Sheldon Cooper) who decided that he was ready to move on. Parsons has been the breakout star of the series having scored four Emmy wins as well as one Golden Globe. His character was also spun off last season for a prequel series, Young Sheldon, in which Parsons does voice-over narration for each episode.
With a per episode paycheck of nearly $1M, Parsons is turning down around $50M to move on to other projects, so it’s hard to say this is anything other than a desire for new challenges.
It is unclear at this time if Parsons will continue with Young Sheldon past the end of season 2, although that might be a lot harder to say no to. Thanks to his never appearing on camera he can do the part from literally anywhere in the world and be on any other project of his choosing at the same time. At the same time, however, he may also want a clean break with the character.
The 12th and final season of The Big Bang Theory will premiere on CBS on Sept. 27.