Jim Parsons’ sudden exit from ‘Big Bang Theory’ made co-stars ‘emotionally crumble’: new book


He sure went out with a bang. 

A new book about long-running hit sitcom “The Big Bang” theory details how the cast “emotionally crumbled” after star Jim Parsons, 49, announced his exit from the show.  

According to Jessica Radloff’s book, “The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series,” when the news broke that Parsons would leave the show after 12 seasons, and it would not continue without him, “there was a lot of crying in the room,” especially from co-star Kaley Cuoco, 36.

“The Big Bang Theory” aired on CBS from 2007 to 2019, with a total of 279 episodes. The plot followed a nerdy group of friends, including  physicists Sheldon Cooper (Parsons) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), their aspiring actress neighbor Penny (Cuoco) and their pals: engineer Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), and neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). It won several Emmys during its run, and also spawned a prequel spinoff “Young Sheldon” that’s still running on CBS (now in its sixth season and renewed for a seventh). 

Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) on "The Big Bang Theory" sit around a table.
Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), from left, Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) on “The Big Bang Theory.”
WARNER BROS.
Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on "The Big Bang Theory" stand in a hallway.
Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on “The Big Bang Theory.”
CBS

According to the book, Parsons decided to depart the series after 12 seasons, but believed that the show might be able to continue without him. Showrunner Steve Molaro and co-creator Chuck Lorre thought it “didn’t seem right” to continue sans Sheldon, and opted to pull the plug on the show. 

Co-star Galecki, 47, said in the book, “I was shocked. We were just blindsided that day. And not necessarily shocked by Jim’s decision, but that he hadn’t had that conversation with his castmates first to prepare us. So yes, it could have been handled better. We’re a family; have a conversation.”

Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch from the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" stand in a line on a red carpet.
From left to right: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch of “The Big Bang Theory.”
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Kunal Nayyar, from left, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch, Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco on "The Big Bang Theory" sit on a couch in a living room.
Kunal Nayyar, from left, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch, Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco on “The Big Bang Theory.”
AP
Amy Farrah (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on "The Big Bang Theory" hug on a couch.
Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on “The Big Bang Theory.”
Sonja Flemming

He later said he didn’t disagree with Parsons’ departure, he just “disagreed with how it was managed.”

Galecki added that he was “kind of losing it” over seeing his friends and colleagues react to the news, saying that it was “tearing me to shreds watching Kaley break down and see the tears from everyone.”

Cuoco said that everyone cried for “hours” the day they found out.

“The shock of, ‘Oh my God, what is next?’ was scary….We thought we were going to do another year, so all of the sudden your life kind of flashes before your eyes. I looked at Chuck [Lorre] and said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I couldn’t breathe. It just felt like a death, but also a new horizon for everybody as well.”