After some speculation that season 10 would mark the end of the show, CBS renewed hit comedy The Big Bang Theory for season 11 and 12 in September 2017.
We’ve already been witness to the long-awaited wedding of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) in the season 11 finale, with none other than Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill on hand as the wedding officiant.
However, CBS and Warner Bros TV then dropped the bombshell on August 22 that season 12 will be the last ever season of the long-running sitcom, following speculation that it would end when the cast’s current contracts were up.
Their joint statement read: “We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 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.”
So what else do you need to know about the final-ever season of The Big Bang Theory?
The Big Bang Theory season 12 release date: When will it premiere?
CBS has already confirmed that The Big Bang Theory will retain its Thursday night slot at 8pm in the US, followed by Young Sheldon at 8.30pm, so that’s a whole hour of Sheldon for you lucky lot.
Season 12 will premiere in Monday, September 24 on CBS in the US, in line with the usual mid-to-late September slot for the show, and will then shift to its usual Thursday night slot that week from September 27.
E4 airs the show in the UK, but has recently been waiting a few weeks after the US to premiere it, usually starting in mid-October.
The Big Bang Theory season 12 cast: Who’s coming back?
All of the main stars have signed on for season 12, so that’s Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard), Kunal Nayyar (Raj), Mayim Bialik (Amy) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette).
Of course, it wouldn’t be The Big Bang Theory without cameos so we can expect more of those in the new episodes, as well as possible returns for the likes of Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Laurie Metcalf as Sheldon’s mum Mary, John Ross Bowie as Sheldon’s rival Dr Barry Kripke and Regina King as Janine Davis.
And who knows, maybe we’ll see Jerry O’Connell back as Sheldon’s brother George Cooper Jr as he’s certainly keen.
“Sheldon and Georgie have patched things up now, so hopefully yeah. It’s such a fun character that they wrote for me too – it’s so fun to play a non-nerd around all those nerds, and just unabashedly make fun of them for being nerds!,” he told Digital Spy.
The Big Bang Theory season 12 spoilers: The final countdown
At least it sounds like everyone was prepared for season 12 to be the last one. Showrunner Steve Holland certainly seemed to believe it will be the final run.
“I know we have next season, but I don’t know what happens beyond that,” he explained. “And it’s not my decision to make. So all I can do is go forward with next season and make it great.”
He also explained to Digital Spy what his approach will be for the new episodes: “There’s certainly stories that we still want to tell that we haven’t told yet, and who knows what’ll happen after season 12, so season 12 might be a nice chance to tell them.”
Fortunately, Holland has promised that they’re “not leaving anything on the table in season 12”, so we’ll hopefully get a proper resolution. And one thing that definitely will be explored in the new season will be Sheldon’s season 11 finale discovery of “super asymmetry”.
“We’ve talked for years about how smart Sheldon is and we’ve seen it some too, but it was important for us to give him a big win and actually show that he is as smart as we’ve said he is all this time,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “That is going to be a fun and interesting story to play with, especially with him and Amy doing this as a team and married couple.”
On the same day as the final season announcement was made, the new season had just started filming with the cast marking the occasion with some behind-the-scenes snaps.
The Big Bang Theory season 12 trailer: When can we expect it?
CBS didn’t debut the trailer for season 11 until early September, a few weeks before its premiere, so don’t expect any new footage anytime soon, probably late August at the earliest.
The Big Bang Theory airs on CBS in the US and E4 in the UK.
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