Why is The Big Bang Theory ending? Jim Parsons was ready to say goodbye to Sheldon Cooper.

A source told E! News that Parsons, who won four Emmys and a Golden Globe for playing the Big Bang physicist, was ready to explore life and more work outside the series. Parsons recently wrapped a run on Broadway in the Ryan Murphy-produced The Boys in the Band and our source said it was his summer on stage that helped fuel his decision to exit, however it wasn't a hastily made decision, it was something Parsons has been debating for months. We're told Parsons is happy the show is ending while still a hit and creatively successful.

According to Deadline, executive producer Chuck Lorre let Parsons make his announcement to his Big Bang Theory family on Wednesday, and then Lorre followed announcement with his own: The Big Bang Theory would come to an end after the current season in production, season 12. Deadlien reports Lorre wouldn't continue the show without Parsons, Kaley Cuoco or Johnny Galecki. The original cast's contracts were up at the end of season 12.

In early August, CBS boss Kelly Kahl said, "We don't believe it's the final year. We're in preliminary discussions with Warner Bros., the studio." This was in addition to comments Kahl made in May: "We are hopeful there will be more. As long as [Chuck Lorre] and his team, [Steve Molaro] and those guys think they have stories to tell, we'll take it for as long as they want," Kahl told reporters. "We certainly hope to get a few more years out of it. It's not slowing down."

In March 2018, Parsons told E! News that, "It's impossible at this point to envision life without this show, which is a wonderful thing on so many levels."

"The other wonderful thing that turns into kind of a weird thing is the whole 'time flies when you're having fun.' The idea that when this current contract is up, 12 years will have gone by is jarring when you really put your mind to it. I don't know why I bring that up other than to say it's so hard to envision one day after another even now. And so could the show go on? If the writers are willing and interested in writing it, yeah, absolutely," he said.

However, the show won't go on. CBS, Warner Bros. TV and Chuck Lorre Productions announced the end in a joint statement. "We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show's success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close," the network and producers said.

Parsons paid tribute to his cast and crew in an emotional Instagram post.

"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' statement partially read. "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."

See his full post above. Parsons also serves as narrator and executive producer of The Big Bang Theory spinoff series Young Sheldon.

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.

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