Jim Parsons is feeling grateful. The Emmy-winning star of The Big Bang Theory took to his Instagram to reflect on the show's landmark 12th and final season. CBS, Warner Bros. TV and Chuck Lorre Productions announced the upcoming season, which premieres Monday, Sept. 24, will be the last.
"It is hard (nearly impossible, actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory. I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in," Parsons wrote, along with a photo of himself, Melissa Rauch, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Mayim Bialik and Kunal Nayyar filming the first episode of season 12.
"Something else I feel grateful for—and this gratitude needs no time to ‘sink in' or become more ‘realized;' this grateful-feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season—but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives," he wrote.
"I feel grateful to our crew—many, many of whom have been with us since day one—and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don't see them on TV, are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh. I am grateful to all the writers of our show—those with us now and those that have come and gone- because without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever," the note continued.
"The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which is a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand. And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again and again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren't pictured here; whether they are in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off," Parsons continued. "You are my playmates when we don't feel like playing but have to because it's our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we're these other fictional people and we look into each other's eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will fully ever understand. I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time."
The upcoming season wasn't always intended to be the last. At the 2018 Television Critics Association press tour, CBS boss Kelly Kahl said there were already renewal talks happening for season 13. However, EW reports it was Parsons who didn't want to continue with the series.
Several other Big Bang stars have taken to social media and the internet to express their feelings about the end of the series. In her blog, Bialik lamented the end of the series.
"Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in season 4. I love my job. I love my castmates, and I feel such appreciation for our incredible crew, our brave writers, our entire staff, and our amazing fans. So many people are a part of our Big Bang family," she wrote.
Cuoco took to Instagram to share her feelings.
"This ride has been a dream come true and as life changing as it gets. No matter when it was going to end, my heart would have always been broken in two. Drowning in tears, we promise to bring you the best season yet. To the fans, our crew, families, Chuck Lorre, Warner Brothers, CBS, and everyone who has supported us for so many years, thank you. We are goin out with a bang," Cuoco said.
The final season of The Big Bang Theory premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. and moves to its regular time period on Thursday, Sept. 27, also 8 p.m. on CBS.