Is The Big Bang Theory about to be canceled? That’s the question internet users are asking after rumors began surfacing that star Jim Parsons may not be interested in keeping CBS’ No. 1 comedy going beyond the current season.
Rumors of The Big Bang Theory’s supposed cancellation have come up before, sometimes with even a slight basis in fact. For example, in 2014, as Deadline reported at the time, the three principal cast members of the show (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco) all held out for bigger bucks before Season 8 would begin production.
Fortunately for fans, CBS was willing to part with more money to keep the actors on its most popular show happy, and Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory began, slightly behind schedule and with the show’s three leads significantly richer. At the time, the contracts they signed were for three seasons: Season 8, Season 9, and Season 10.
As fans are probably aware, Season 10 has entered its second half, and the cast will be without a contract after the final episode of this season wraps production. After that, the show’s cast and producers will have to sit down with CBS to come up with plans for Season 11; either that, or kiss one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history goodbye.
It appears that Jim Parsons, who plays the quirky theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, may be interested in bidding farewell to the show. And while no one but Jim can conclusively say whether it’s about the money; as of this writing, it seems that Parsons is simply more interested in taking his career in new directions.
As Tripped Media reports, Parsons has a lot on his plate besides The Big Bang Theory. He’s been building up an impressive résumé as an executive producer. As of this writing, Parsons is producing Lance 2.0, The Monarchy is Going to Sh*t, Lakeside V.A., and The Terranauts. Lance 2.0, according to Variety, is a comedy about a relationship gone wrong; Lakeside V.A., according to Variety, is a hospital comedy currently in development; and The Terranauts, according to the Wrap, is a sci-fi drama in the works based on T.C. Boyle’s writings. As of this writing, it’s not clear what The Monarchy is Going to Sh*t is going to be.
But Parsons’ biggest upcoming project, and the one that may pull him away from The Big Bang Theory for good, is an upcoming Theory spinoff tentatively entitled Sheldon. As Variety reported in November 2016, Sheldon will be a prequel to The Big Bang Theory. It will to focus on the adolescent Sheldon Cooper’s life in East Texas, before he became got a job at Caltech, moved to Pasadena, and took on Leonard Hofstadter as a roommate. Parsons will serve as a producer and consultant on the show but will not appear onscreen.
Besides his developing projects as a producer, Jim Parsons is also becoming a legitimate box-office drawn in his own right and is likely fielding movie offers as well.
Needless to say, all of those side projects may lure Jim Parsons away from The Big Bang Theory. If that happens, it would likely spell doom for the show. Popular TV shows rarely recover from the departure of a lead character. Further, at 10 seasons, the show has already reached the age at which many popular sitcoms hang it up (for example, Friends, by far the most popular sitcom of its day, lasted 10 seasons).
As of this writing, neither CBS nor anyone affiliated with The Big Bang Theory has confirmed or denied whether the show will be canceled after Season 10.
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