The Big Bang Theory is imploding, and it's all Jim Parsons' fault.
On Wednesday, CBS announced its nerd-filled sitcom would end after 12 seasons. But not everyone was "drowning in tears" like star Kaley Cuoco claimed she was in an Instagram post, Entertainment Weekly has learned. CBS apparently offered the show's five original stars $50 million each to stay on for another two seasons, and Parsons turned it down.
The Big Bang Theory was already in preliminary talks to secure a 13th season, CBS president Kelly Kahl told reporters earlier this month. But even though The Big Bang Theory shot Parsons to fame, the actor was apparently ready to call it quits. As the show's star among stars, Parsons secured four Emmys and a Golden Globe playing Sheldon Cooper, and his portrayal of the prodigiously awkward physicist even extends to a voice-over on the spinoff Young Sheldon. He's also managed to balance leading roles on Broadway and in movies on top of it all.
With a household name and dozens of credits under his belt, Parsons appears well-positioned for the post-Big Bang world. By the time things wrap, there will have been 279 episodes of The Big Bang Theory — and seeing as Parsons' salary has reportedly reached nearly $1 million for each episode, turning down a $50 million bonus was probably easier than you'd think. Kathryn Krawczyk