The final episode of The Big Bang Theory will hit airwaves on Thursday, and fans who won’t be able to make it to a television will still be able to watch the sendoff on a livestream.
The special back-to-back episodes will air on CBS at 8 p.m., with a special called Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell airing at 9:30 p.m.
As Vox noted, the season finale of The Big Bang Theory will bring an end to one of the most successful runs in television history — one that almost never happened. As the report noted, the show debuted in the fall of 2007 to little fanfare, after CBS passed on an initial pilot the previous year. The original iteration featured stars Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), but a very different supporting cast.
The original failure of the show was saved by the incredible on-screen chemistry between Galecki and Parsons, with the rest of the supporting cast built around them when it returned for another 2007 pilot — one that stuck. Though it would later become a ratings powerhouse, The Big Bang Theory originally debuted to mixed reviews, and uncertainty about whether it could come back.
“And while the show’s viewership was okay, its first season ranked an unimpressive 68th against all the other shows on TV. Had CBS opted to cancel it, the decision wouldn’t have come as a huge shock,” the report noted.
As the report noted, The Big Bang Theory may have been nixed for being a bit ahead of its time in terms of geek culture.
“[T]he series predates everything from The Dark Knight to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to, yes, Game of Thrones. Geek culture was big when the show debuted, but it wasn’t yet all-consuming,” the report noted. “So the longer The Big Bang Theory ran, the more certain it could be that when Howard mentioned the TARDIS, at least some portion of its viewership would be aware that he was referencing Doctor Who.”
There had been plenty of speculation over the past few years about when the show would come to an end, with cancellation rumors floating around each of the past two or three seasons. But as The Hollywood Reporter noted, it was ultimately star Jim Parsons who signaled it was time for an end when he said that this would be his last season.
CBS and producers Warner Bros. TV were in early conversations for a potential 13th season of #BigBangTheory. However, two-time Emmy-winning star Jim Parsons ultimately was the one to say no more. Here's why: https://t.co/zGFsZ2UK6t pic.twitter.com/E19Uvx3n2y
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 15, 2019
Those who want to watch a livestream of The Big Bang Theory series finale will have a few options. Those able to make it to a television will be able to watch it over the air on their local CBS station. Viewers looking to watch live online can check out Fubo TV and CBS All Access, both for the finale itself and for Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell.