If it was up to Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, they would’ve wanted to do The Big Bang Theory season 13. The pair played Penny and Leonard in the hit CBS show and was part of the series for its entire run from 2007 to 2019. Running for 12 years, the hit sitcom could’ve continued had it not been for Jim Parsons’ decision to leave.
Before the beginning of The Big Bang Theory season 12 production, co-creator Chuck Lorre called the show’s principal cast for a meeting where they learned that Parsons, who played Sheldon, wanted out. It was surprising for the team considering that CBS was contemplating on ordering at least another year, which makes sense since the sitcom remained a ratings juggernaut for them. So while the cast members were among the highest-paid TV actors, it was well worth it. But with Parsons’ decision, the team collectively decided that there’s no way that the sitcom could’ve continued without arguably its true main lead, hence the decision to end it altogether.
Opening up about this experience almost two years since The Big Bang Theory ended its run, Cuoco reveals that when Lorre summoned them for the meeting, that she presumed it to be about season 13 “which Johnny and I had talked a lot about” in a new interview with Variety. She candidly revealed that they decided that they were game for. “Did we want to do it? And we really did,” the actress added. As is known now, that wasn’t the case, which was why she was stunned when Parsons delivered the news that he decided to exit the long-running sitcom.
Cuoco admits that until now, she gets emotional thinking about The Big Bang Theory, particularly the finale. That said, she also appreciates that its ending gave her the opportunity to do other things — exactly what Parsons wanted to do when he chose to leave. In a separate interview, Cuoco said that The Big Bang Theory ending may have been a blessing since she’s able to move on and do HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, which she stars in and produces, and has been nominated for Golden Globes. Most of her fellow castmates have also embarked on new projects, which is great for them. Still, one can’t help but wonder what The Big Bang Theory season 13 would’ve looked like if it wasn’t canceled.
It made sense for Cuoco and Galecki to want more of The Big Bang Theory. Aside from the great pay packet, Penny and Leonard were just really starting to move forward to the next step of their marriage. While the Hofstadters was married for years already before the show ended, it was only in the finale that it was revealed that they’re finally having kids — something that they were in conflict for the most part of season 12. While this was a welcome development, the execution was a bit rushed as they never really tackled how exactly Penny suddenly changed her mind. Had there been at least another season, they could’ve really fleshed out this storyline.