Parting can be such sweet sorrow, but for Jim Parsons and The Big Bang Theory it had to happen.
In Entertainment Weekly's cover story on the end of the hit CBS comedy, Parsons opened up about why he decided not to pursue a 13th season of the ratings juggernaut.
"It's both as complex and as simple as just feeling innately that it was time. It speaks to a lot of things, none of them bad. There is no negative reason to stop doing Big Bang. It felt like we have been able to do this for so many years now, it doesn't feel like there is anything left on the table," Parsons told EW. "Not that we couldn't keep doing it, but it feels like we've chewed all the meat off this bone. I guess at a personal level, it feels like the right time in my life."
A source previously told E! News that Parsons, who won four Emmys and a Golden Globe for playing Sheldon Cooper, was ready to explore other avenues of work outside the sitcom. Parsons recently appeared on Broadway and we're told that time on the stage helped fuel his decision to move on from the series.
"I don't know what's next for me. It's not like there is something specific I am aiming for. I'm firmly in my middle age now. I don't know how much longer I can wear [the T-shirts] without looking really long in the tooth. In a way, it's exciting," he told EW.
Deadline previously reported producers let Parsons announce his intent not to continue with the show and then announced to the cast that the show would not continue without him, despite CBS previously saying they were exploring season 13.
When the final season was announced, Parsons penned an emotional goodbye to the cast and crew on Instagram.
"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 wrote. "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 Big Bang Theory's final season continues on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.