The Big Bang Theory’s Season 9 finale ended with a surprising cliffhanger, but fans don’t have to wait to find out what’s in store for next season. Showrunner Steven Molaro has already begun dropping hints as to what’s coming in future episodes. Here’s everything we know about The Big Bang Theory Season 10 so far.
1. We’ll learn what really happened with Alfred and Mary
Season 9 ended with a surprising cliffhanger, involving the introduction of Leonard’s dad Alfred (played by Judd Hirsch), who has a terrible relationship with ex-wife Beverly (Christine Baranski). It’s something he has in common with Sheldon’s mother Mary (Laurie Metcalf), and the two unexpectedly hit it off, bonding over their mutual dislike for Beverly. When they’re both MIA in the morning, audiences are left believing that a shocking hookup has just taken place.
“An unexpected attraction springs up between Sheldon’s father and Leonard’s mother,” Molaro told EW of the finale. “There’s a shared dislike of Beverly and a genuine fondness of each other. Leonard’s father, it turns out, is a pretty charming guy.”
Of course, viewers don’t actually know what, if anything, happened — but we will likely find out early on in Season 10, as Molaro explained. “I don’t know what happened. I know they were getting along quite well, and left to go to the same hotel for a nightcap, and turned off their phones,” he said. “The details of exactly what happened, if we even ever find out all the details, will be left for the season premiere of season 10.”
2. It will pick up right where Season 9 left off
As of now, no time jump is expected to take place between Season 9 and 10. Instead, next season will pick up immediately after the cliffhanger. “The plan for now, and it’s not set in stone, is that we’re coming back right back into the situation that was created the night before [with Mary and Alfred],” he told The Hollywood Reporter of The Big Bang Theory Season 10 premiere.
That means that Penny and Leonard’s formal wedding ceremony will be taking place, as previously expected. “It’s intimate, it’s small with family and friends,” Molaro said of the festivities. “It’s outdoors at an arboretum in Pasadena that’s quite pretty and outdoors on our stage. It’s nice and despite all the weirdness going on around it, you still have Leonard and Penny, who still love each other and those pockets of love find a way of bubbling through the tension.”
Molaro also said that Bernadette will be officiating the wedding. As he described, “[She] does an incredible job and we have a very vocal audience of family and friends making comments from the sidelines.”
[Update 9/13/16:] Entertainment Weekly has revealed a first look image of Penny and Leonard’s wedding, as seen below:
3. Howard and Bernadette will be in baby planning mode
Fans can expect to see the expecting couple continue preparing for their baby next season. When asked if Season 10 will delve further into baby planning, Molaro told EW, “We’ll continue to look for new takes on [baby planning] and the kind of stories that hopefully we haven’t seen many times on TV. So far, I think we’ve done a pretty good job with that in season 9. The pregnancy will continue.”
Audiences will also see Bernadette to adjust to motherhood. As Molaro told THR, “The focus has been on Bernadette’s own emotional struggles with being a successful and career-oriented person who publicly is not fond of kids and didn’t really want one and finding herself pregnant. How is this going to affect her life and career? We’ve been pretty happy digging into the honest emotions behind someone in that situation. I’m not sure how things will shake out once a baby is in the picture, but for now we’ve been enjoying and been occupied with where she is in her head right now.”
4. There may be more relationship milestones
Season 9 saw a lot of big moments for The Big Bang Theory couples, including Amy and Sheldon having sex for the first time and Bernadette announcing her pregnancy. Viewers can expect more growth for both relationships, as well as Penny and Leonard’s, in upcoming season. “Ultimately that growth is exciting and good for the health of the show,” Molaro said of allowing the couples to take big steps together.
But the showrunner stresses that these changes are about expanding the show’s universe, not completely tearing the attention away from the main cast. “The goal is to make those kind of changes and sure, Wolowitz and Bernadette pregnant, that’s a big step, but it’s also a manageable one. I don’t think it sets the show on fire or is a tremendous change,” he said, adding, “If we want to have an episode with a baby in it, if we want Bernadette’s parents or Stuart watching the baby and we just want to do an episode about Wolowitz that has nothing to do with babies, that’s still completely doable. It expands our little universe without breaking it in any way.”
5. Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon will continue work on the guidance system
In Season 9, the three were teaming together to work on a guidance system, which the Air Force then contacted Howard about. Should it take off, the invention has the potential to make all three scientists wildly successful. Season 10 will continue to explore the possible impact the system could have on all their careers. “We can see where [the guidance system] goes professionally, personally and financially,” Molaro said.
6. We’ll probably meet more family members
Leonard’s dad and Sheldon’s Meemaw both made their long-awaited introductions in Season 9, but there are still plenty of relatives that viewers haven’t met yet — including Penny’s mother and brother and Howard’s father. Molaro acknowledges there’s always a possibility that audiences will get to meet them, moving forward.
“We have all these family members that are there and hopefully more to meet for the first time,” he said. As for his dream casting for these roles, Molaro added, ” It’s premature to talk about but we have a couple of fun ideas. Howard’s father has not been at the top of that list but it’s always floating around. If and when the time is right, we’ll dig into it.
Update 7/25/16: As announced at 2016 Comic-Con, Katey Sagal has been tapped to play Penny’s mom Susan, while Jack McBrayer will portray her brother Randall. “We are finally going to meet more of Penny’s family,” Molaro said, per EW. “We’re going to be meeting Penny’s mom and her brother in the first episode back. We’re super excited that Katey Sagal will be playing Penny’s mom.”
7. Season 10 won’t be planned as the series final season
Since the cast is currently only under contract through next season (and the show will again be up for renewal afterward), there’s been speculation that Season 10 could mark the end for The Big Bang Theory. However, Molaro says he’s not approaching next season as if it’s the last.
“Even if that were the case, that’s still 24 episodes away,” he said of the possibility of the series final season. “So no, I’m not looking at it as the end.”
Update 6/1/16: At the MCM Comic-Con in London , Kunal Nayyar (who portrays Raj on the show) said that “Look, next season, as it stands on our contract, could be the last season of Big Bang Theory,” according to CinemaBlend. “To be completely honest … I know people are going to want to know what happens after season 10. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Update 8/10/16: As expected, the chances of renewal are looking brighter. “We are very confident that everyone involved wants more Big Bang past year 10 and I know Warner Bros. will make those deals,” CBS boss Glenn Geller told reporters at the 2016 TCA Summer Press Tour.
The Big Bang Theory will kick off its tenth season on Monday, September 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.