Reconciliations? Weddings? Reunions? 'Big Bang Theory' EPs on the Final Episodes
There are only seven episodes of The Big Bang Theory left, but producers still can’t fully preview the May 16 series finale for one simple reason — it hasn’t been written yet!
However, TV Insider caught up with Bill Prady, executive producer/co-creator, Steven Molaro, executive producer, and Steve Holland, executive producer/showrunner, TBBT, at WonderCon 2019 to grill them as to what viewers can expect to see as Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and the rest of the gang prepare to take their final bow.
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“There are still pieces of the [finale] we have to figure out,” Prady says. “We know some of the ‘what.’ We don’t know all of the ‘how.’”
The exec says he’s a fan of most of the classic TV finales that everyone fondly recalls, including Newhart in which Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) tells wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) that he’d dreamed about living a life in Vermont as innkeeper/author Dick Loudon.
“The greatest finale of the modern TV era was The Shield [starring Michael Chiklis]. Every time I see [Shield creator] Shawn Ryan, which is a lot because our daughters are friends, I tell him The Shield finale is crazy good!”
Even though an office job wouldn’t be anathema to Sheldon as it was to Vic Mackey, there’s likely a different fate awaiting TBBT characters.
“There’s a lot of talk about wanting to feel that the gang’s world will continue as viewers know it to be,” says Prady. “Of all the feelings we’ve talked about that’s one that we all like.”
Holland says not even he knows the specific story points that will unfold in the finale – and he’s writing it!
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“If we’d been talking about what the finale would have been five years ago, I think it would have been different,” Holland says. “We’ve hit so many milestones with the characters and still managed to find new stories for them because they have kept growing and changing.”
What will soften the blow for Holland once the show is over is, he’ll be joining Molaro (executive producer) and Prady (consulting producer) on the team that helms TBBT prequel/spinoff, Young Sheldon.
Might we ever see a story on that series in which a young Sheldon (Ian Armitage) encounters a young Leonard, who happens to be visiting Texas?
“With Sheldon’s eidetic memory, it makes it tough for him not to know when these things happen,” notes Molaro.
Before TBBT concludes, viewers will see Christine Baranski reprise her role as Leonard’s mom, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, one last time. Leonard’s been frustrated many times over not having had a warm moment with his mother. Answering that puzzling dynamic is tempting for the writers — but is doing so realistic?
“In life, these types of things rarely tend to resolve themselves and just be ‘over,’” Holland notes. “They always continue in some ways, but we’re aware that this will be the last time they’ll be together.”
Plus, the actress looks back on Penny's legacy and her mysterious last name.
Might Raj (Kunal Nayyar) join his pals in wedded bliss? Raj tying the knot with Anu (Rati Gupta) would likely bring prompt visits from his parents (Brian George and Alice Amter) and his sister, Priya (Aarti Mann).
“I don’t want to rule anything out for the finale,” Holland says. “but it will focus on our [main] characters.”
When the show wraps, folks who work on it will want to take with them keepsakes from the set.
“Warner Bros. is clamping down on that, but I put an item on the set myself in the first season that a friend made for me,” Molaro recalls of a Rubix cube tissue holder. “I’m going to do everything I can to take it back! It’ll be me vs. Warner Bros. We’ll see what happens.”
Cast members from Friends have been asked for years about doing a reunion show. Fans love TBBT so much that they likely will pose similar questions to the show’s cast and producers.
The co-stars and on-screen spouses had fun ahead of the show's big farewell.
“This has been such an amazingly, special ride,” Holland says. “It’s hard to say goodbye.” As far as a reunion goes, he shrugs, “Who knows?”
Getting the gang back together is something Prady can’t even think about right now.
“You can’t approach a reunion before you’ve even said goodbye,” he says.
The Big Bang Theory, Thursdays, 8/7c, CBS