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 Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon 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.
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.”
“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.