Going out with, yes, a bang: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ ends its CBS run

Long-running CBS sitcom concludes with an hour-long finale

Kunal Nayyar is among the stars in the series finale of “The Big Bang Theory” Thursday on CBS.

Here comes the last “Big Bang.”

A ratings powerhouse for most of its 12 seasons, and now the longest-running multi-camera comedy in television history, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” concludes with a one-hour series finale Thursday, May 16. Created by executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, the saga of lovably geeky geniuses Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj (played by Johnny Galecki, multiple Emmy winner Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar) and their neighbor-and-later-more Penny (Kaley Cuoco) will live on in syndicated repeats.

“The Big Bang Theory” finishes its run with a one-hour finale Thursday on CBS.

Before the finale was filmed, Nayyar talked about his “Big Bang Theory” experience.

Q: How have the final weeks on the set been?

A: There’s been a real lightness. We’ve sort of climbed over the mountaintop and are just chilling. The pressure is off; for the finale, that’s probably more on the writers than on the actors. We understand how grateful we are for this, and we want to enjoy every moment together.

Q: What do you remember about your audition for the show?

A: Originally, the character’s name was Dave. I auditioned with many other different ethnicities – Korean, Japanese, Arabic – so there was a real sense that they wanted this diversity. There was a cadence in the language that felt very natural to me, and that’s why I brought more of myself to the character.

Q: When did you first feel “The Big Bang Theory” would stay around for a while?

A: When the show went into syndication, I remember Chuck Lorre saying to me, “Your life is going to change forever.” And I was like, “It already has.” But what he meant was that with it being on different platforms, and people who had only heard of the show starting to binge-watch it, that was when my being recognized everywhere changed almost overnight. I realized this show had really touched people and could be at the level of “Friends” or something.

Q: Are you satisfied with the arc of Raj?

A: It’s been really nice to play this character who has evolved, and that’s a real testament to the writers. I’m going to miss Raj, and in the finale, I hope that he finds himself. I think that would be a really lovely moment for him.

Q: What will be your biggest takeaway from the show?

A: One of the things I’m going to miss most is seeing the kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, or the Sunshine Foundation, and having interaction with people whose time on this earth is really finite. Being able to make them laugh or to soothe their pain, those are the things that matter to me most. And make me the most proud of everything we’ve done.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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