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The Big Bang Theory Ended Because Jim Parsons Wanted to Leave: Report

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Jim Parsons found fame through The Big Bang Theory, but his desire to say goodbye to the show reportedly led to beloved comedy’s end.

CBS, Warner Bros. TV, and Chuck Lorre Productions announced on Wednesday that the high-rated CBS series will conclude in May 2019.

When it does wrap up, it will be the longest-running multi-camera series in TV history. But according to Entertainment Weekly, CBS was trying to negotiate two more seasons — talks that ended when Parsons decided to walk away.

Parsons won four Emmys and one Golden Globe for his role on The Big Bang Theory. The actor — and original costars Johnny GaleckiKaley CuocoSimon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar — reportedly earned nearly $1 million per episode, meaning they would have made more than $50 million in profits, according to EW. 

CBS had no comment. A rep for Parsons did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Jim Parsons
Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

RELATED: Macaulay Culkin Shades The Big Bang Theory in Explaining Why He Turned Down Show Three Times

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions said, “We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons. 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.”

Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco
Monty Brinton/CBS

Speaking to PeopleTV on the Paleyfest red carpet in March, the cast (which also includes Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch) admitted they couldn’t really picture their life after the series.

“I actually can’t, to be honest,” said Cuoco. “I can’t really picture it. And I don’t think there really will be my life without it — I think it’ll always be there, I think it’ll always be running, I think we’ll always have those fans. It’s always going to be a part of me.”

Nayyar said the ending would be “very sad,” explaining, “I grew up on this show — I was a kid out of grad school. I don’t even know how to comprehend that.”

“All shows except The Simpsons come to an end,” said producer Chuck Lorre. “So at some time, we will wrap it up and someone will tell us, ‘It’s time to wrap it up.’ It’s certainly not my call.”

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