After a whopping 12 seasons, The Big Bang Theory came to an end in mid-2019 and while the reason may sound clear, it actually isn’t. A lot of the time, shows will get the boot if its ratings drop too much, but that wasn’t entirely the case for this nerdtastic sitcom. Instead, it was the decided departure of one of its leads, Jim Parsons, who plays the role of Sheldon Cooper.
The actor went on Doctor Who alum David Tennant’s podcast (via TV Guide), in which he confessed the reason behind his departure as a “moment of clarity.” In the podcast, he explained how he already felt the last contract he signed before Season 12’s filming was going to be his last. He also was going through quite an ordeal as one of his dogs was nearing the end of its life.
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On top of The Big Bang Theory, he was also in a play that took him to New York, worried that their dog would pass while no one was around, he and his husband put down the near-death dog and it understandably put him in an off-putting mood. He then tripped and broke his foot to top it all off.
“It was the scariest moment for the next couple of days because I didn’t know — I felt like I was at the edge of a cliff, and I was teetering, and I saw something really dark below between the death of the dog, and I don’t know what they would have done if I couldn’t have gotten back on for the play.”
All of this and the tearful admission that his father died at the age of 52, made him realize he was going to be 46 by the end of Season 12 and simply didn’t sit right with him. The following year, he went to series creators Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro and told him his decision.
“And this is what I said to Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro when I talked to them when I went back to work next year. I said, ‘If you told me that like my father, I had six years left to live, I think there’s other things I need to try and do.'”
If you absolutely need The Big Bang Theory in your life, it’s currently streaming on HBO Max.