Part of the Cast of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Was Planning For Season 13 When The Show Ended

The Big Bang Theory went off the air after 12 seasons in 2019. While most fans assumed the entire cast was ready to call it quits on the series, apparently, that wasn’t the case. Kaley Cuoco recently revealed that she was preparing for the thirteenth season of the show when she learned they would be wrapping things up instead. Was she the only castmember left in the dark?  

Kaley Cuoco spent 12 seasons portraying Penny on The Big Bang Theory

Kaley Cuoco is nominated for her work on The Flight Attendant at the Golden Globes, but she was Penny on The Big Bang Theory before she became Cassie Bowden. Casting agents hired Cuoco to play Penny after fans failed to connect with the original pilot. Show creator Chuck Lorre retooled the part of Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter’s gorgeous new neighbor to make her more likable. Cuoco stepped into the role and unwittingly into television history.

Leonard Hofstadter, Penny and Sheldon Cooper in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment in season 2 of 'The Big Bang Theory'
Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

The Big Bang Theory is among the most popular television shows of all time. The series made Cuoco’s career. While the show was certainly long-running, as it turns out, Cuoco wasn’t quite ready to let it go when it ended.

Kaley Cuoco didn’t know The Big Bang Theory was ending when she walked into a meeting about the finale

Cuoco has moved on since The Big Bang Theory finale. Still, she wasn’t exactly ready to call it quits when Lorre and Jim Parsons decided the series was over. In an interview with Variety, Cuoco recalled that she was told that the series was ending in a surprising way. She said that she was called into a meeting with the rest of the cast while filming season 12 of the series. She had assumed the conversation would be about the following season. Instead, she found out that season 12 would be their last.

Kunal Nayyar), Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg with executive producers Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre on the set of 'The Big Bang Theory'
Kunal Nayyar), Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Simon Helberg with executive producers Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Parsons and CBS had come to a decision collectively, so it would seem. Cuoco made it clear, though, that there were never any plans to try to carry on without Parsons. The cast had agreed, early on, that they wouldn’t continue the show without a cast member. She said they had decided that they came onto the show together and that they would leave together.

Was Kaley Cuoco the only cast member blindsided by the decision?

Cuoco wasn’t the only one blindsided by the decision to end the series. She recalled that Johnny Galecki, who portrayed her love interest, Leonard Hofstadter, for all 12 seasons, was also excited to move onto the 13th season of the show. She noted that she and Galecki had discussed the next season shortly before they were told the show was ending.

Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco attend The 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 11, 2018
Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

‘The Big Bang Theory’: Was Penny’s Apartment Financially Out of Reach?

Cuoco didn’t mention whether Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar knew about the network’s decision, but, presumably, they didn’t. Helberg took on Howard Wolowitz, while Nayyar played Raj Koothrappali during the show’s 12-season run. Cuoco rebounded into another success. She is now starring in The Flight Attendant