This coming fall The Big Bang Theory will return for its twelfth season, and there are even rumors that the sitcom’s run will extend beyond that, too.
That’s hardly a surprise, considering the amount that its leading actors are paid for their involvement, which is rumored to be around $1 million per episode, and that it averaged between 17 and 13 million viewers during its 11th season.
But one man that has been slightly surprised by the longevity of the beloved CBS sitcom is none other than Jim Parsons, who portrays Dr. Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory,” work that has earned him four Emmy Awards.
I recently had the chance to talk to Parsons about his foray to the big screen with “A Kid Like Jake,” which revolves around a married couple, the other half of which is played by Claire Danes, struggling to deal with their young son’s preference for Cinderella over G.I. Joe and what that might mean.
Right at the end of our conversation I asked Parsons about the future of “The Big Bang Theory,” and whether he was surprised by its longevity.
“I am surprised. I am surprised,” Parsons admitted. “Not because I don’t think that the writers haven’t always done great work. I’m not surprised because we have put together good, solid, meaningful entertainment.”
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“But it’s just such a rarity in the land of TV to get to do something so long. And this business is so fickle and audiences are hard to keep. So in that way I really am surprised.”
“As we go to work everyday over the past 11 years you don’t feel that surprised. You feel grateful and you are happy to do your job. But you have to go and do your job. But as we have got into years 9, 10 and 11, going into 12, it is impossible not to look at it and go, ‘Oh my God’.”
“Even just the simple fact that as an actor I never ever suspected I would spend 12 years playing 1 character. It would never have crossed my mind.”
“And as the day comes around to me not doing it anymore, I think that will be fine, I think we will all have peace with it. But I think that there will be an emotional reckoning. I think it will be a death of some sort.”
I then pointed out that all of the actors involved in “The Big Bang Theory” appear to be grateful for the success and opportunity that the show has provided for them, which provoked Parsons to admit that it was one of the main reasons why it was still on the air.
“It is a very professional level-headed group of actors, which you don’t always get. As many reasons as there are for the longevity of the show, that is one of them. I am grateful and lucky to work alongside some level-headed people that also feel as grateful as I do.”
“The Big Bang Theory” will almost certainly return to air for its thirteenth season in late September or early October, while we can expect news of a thirteenth or maybe even fourteenth season to be either confirmed or denied in the build up to it.
Meanwhile, "A Kid Like Jake" is released in select theaters on June 1st, as well as On Demand on June 8th.