It's been a rough week for The Big Bang Theory cast, who announced that, after more 12 years on set, they will say goodbye to the comedy and their nearly $1-million-per-episode paychecks. The news stunned both fans and the actors. Kaley Cuoco, for instance, said she's been "drowning in tears" over the past few days.
The Emmy Award-winning actor, who skillfully portrayed the series' lead, Sheldon Cooper, penned an emotional goodbye letter to the show that brought his career into the spotlight.
"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," Parsons wrote alongside a cast photo. "I feel very fortunate 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."
But there are some things, like the love he has for everyone who made the series a possibility, that Parsons said he "needs no time to 'sink in' or become more 'realized.'"
"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 continued.
Parsons also thanked the crew, whom he said "are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing," and the writers, "who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going."
But his most teary-eyed farewell went to the cast.
"I am so terribly grateful to the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren't pictured here – whether they were 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," he wrote.
Parsons concluded, "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 actor's statement comes in the midst of speculation that he was the one who made the decision to fly the (Sheldon) coop(er) and, ultimately, end the series run. Parson's reps could not be immediately reached for comment.
Warner Bros. Television, CBS, and Chuck Lorre productions released the following statement to Refinery29 on Wednesday:
"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."
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