Off-Screen TBBT Drama That Drove a Wedge Between Parsons & Cuoco

Off-Screen TBBT Drama That Drove a Wedge Between Parsons & Cuoco
Image credit: CBS

Parsons' decision to leave the project, which led to its closure, did not sit well with everyone.

The Big Bang Theory, a legendary sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, ended its run in May 2019 after 12 seasons.

Fans were bittersweet, with some even upset to see their favorite cast on screen for the last time, but every TV show comes to an end eventually.

However, fans were not the only ones frustrated with the end of the sitcom.

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According to The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series by Jessica Radloff, when Jim Parsons, who portrayed one of the show's main characters, Sheldon Cooper, decided that he was finally done with the project after the then-upcoming 12th season, he inadvertently became a catalyst for the show's demise.

The creators had no desire to continue the sitcom without Parsons, as they considered the show to be an ensemble and it would feel unnatural if Sheldon suddenly disappeared from it.

The rest of the cast was told the news days later, and it quickly became much more dramatic than expected.

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According to executive producer Chuck Lorre, there was "a lot of crying" as the actors were shocked and emotional about the end of such a big part of their lives.

Kaley Cuoco, who played Penny Hofstadter, was particularly devastated by the turn of events. She recalls, "I couldn't breathe. It just felt like death."

Cuoco later expressed her disappointment with Parsons' decision, even saying that she wasn't sure if she would be able to work that day.

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However, she managed to compose herself, but the other cast members point out that Cuoco was barely able to make eye contact with Parsons during the shooting.

It also felt "icy" between scenes because they were not talking to each other. However, the tension eased over time as the actors warmed up during the creative process.

Kaley and Jim began talking and even laughing between scenes, and everyone was able to complete the final season without incident, much to the delight of fans.