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Jim Parsons Speaks Out About ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Ending After Report Claims He Didn’t Want to Return

Still sinking in. Jim Parsons expressed nothing but gratitude in his first statement since The Big Bang Theory’s ending was announced.

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The 45-year-old actor posted a photo of himself with his castmates on Thursday, August 23, along with a lengthy response after a report claimed he did not want to return for another season of the hit sitcom, leading to its end. “It is hard (nearly impossible, actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory,” he wrote. “I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in.”

jim parsons big bang theory ending
Actor Jim Parsons attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) Getty Images

He continued: “Something else I feel grateful for – and this gratitude needs no time to ‘sink in’ or become more ‘realized;’ this grateful feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season – but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.”

Cast of 'Big Bang Theory'
Cast of ‘Big Bang Theory’ Courtesy of Monty Brinton/CBS

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Parsons went on to thank the crew and writers of the series before giving a special shout-out to the cast, which includes Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch and Kunal Nayyar. “And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again and again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren’t pictured here – whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off.”

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He added: “You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will fully ever understand. I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”

Entertainment Weekly reported on Wednesday, August 22, that CBS attempted to negotiate a deal in which Parsons would stay on The Big Bang Theory for two more years, but he chose to leave.

CBS, Warner Bros. Television and Chuck Lorre Productions announced in a joint statement on Wednesday that the upcoming 12th season will be the series’ last. “We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past 12 seasons,” the statement read. “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.”

Cuoco told fans on Instagram that she was “drowning in tears” over the news on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Bialik wrote of the show’s ending on her blog Thursday: “Am I happy? Of course not.”

The final season of The Big Bang Theory premieres on CBS Monday, September 24, at 8 p.m. ET.

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