It’s very strange to think that the end of The Big Bang Theory is finally in sight after 12 immensely successful seasons.
Throughout that run Kaley Cuoco has become an essential part of the show but it very nearly never happened for the actress who plays Penny on the show.
Cuoco opened up about how she was originally rejected from the show ahead of its final episode.
“In the first pilot, the character of Penny [originally named Katie] was not as appealing as that proverbial girl next door,” Warner Bros president and chief content officer Peter Roth told TV Insider.
“It was not the actress [Amanda Walsh] but rather the conceit of the character. Fortunately, Nina Tassler, then-president of CBS Entertainment, realised we had something very special and said, ‘Let’s do it again’.”
Cuoco then added: “I didn’t get [the role of Katie] the first time around. I was too young, which I love saying because I don’t get to say that I’m too young anymore. [Laughs] Then, a year later, I heard they were doing it again, and they brought me back in to read for Penny.”
CBS has now revealed the final episode will air on May 16 and will bow out with a special hour-long edition.
UK broadcaster E4 will air the episode at a later date that is yet to be confirmed.
Since the announcement was made, it’s become pretty clear that Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on the show seemed to be the most influential cast member in the decision.
In a rather candid interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parsons has opened up about the decision to turn down CBS’ offer to make another season.
“It’s both as complex and as simple as just feeling innately that it was time,” he explained. “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. 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.”
He went on: “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. What is this next chapter of life?
“What is this next chapter for all of us? It will be very, very sad when it does end, even knowing [I am] okay with it. People are okay when they graduate but there are frequently tears at graduation. It’s hard to say goodbye to people that you have worked with for so long.”
Producers have promised fans an “epic ending” for the show.
In a joint statement, Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions said, “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.”