‘The Big Bang Theory’ Finale Taping: An Emotional Night On Warner Bros Lot (And On Social Media)

The Big Bang Theory
CBS

Studio 25 on the Warner Bros lot in Burbank is steeped in Hollywood history — Casablanca, Yankee Doodle DandyBonnie & Clyde, and Blade Runner all filmed within its walls — but on Tuesday the hallowed soundstage added a one-of-a-kind fadeout to that long legacy. The Big Bang Theory cast, crew, and creative team recorded the final scenes of their 279th episode, a one-hour affair that airs May 16 and marks the end of the show’s wildly successful 12-year run.

It was a crisp and buoyant taping that, for the better part of three hours, was business-as-usual for the team that has been a ratings machine for much of its run. There were little signs, though, that emotions and tears might break loose at any point. Jim Parsons, who portrays Sheldon, did a vamping dance in-between takes but then moments later he was scanning the front row of the audience to check on a special guest, his mother. Series co-creator Chuck Lorre, looking misty-eyed, stepped on stage to hold the clapperboard for the final take on the final scene. Johnny Galecki was polished in his performance until he got to one toss-off line of dialogue about spending “139 1/2 surprisingly pleasant hours” with Parson’s character — the joke was a relatively minor note in the show but the reference had extra meaning. It’s the collective screen time logged by all of the show’s half-hour episodes.

Galecki had a lump in his throat again when he addressed the studio audience, some of who wore special t-shirts commemorating their presence at a TV milestone. “This is a dream come true for all of us,” Galecki said of the show’s broadcast tenure, which began with September 24, 2007. Kaley Cuoco, wiping away tears, said the entire team behind the show were more like family than coworkers. She quoted Lorre’s recent appraisal that the show would endure long after the credits roll on the final episode. “The Big Bang Theory will live on in our hearts forever,” Cuoco said. “It’s so sweet and simple, and it’s so true…everyone here is part of making Big Bang special, the entire crew. We love all of them.”

No spoilers here but the episode itself was a golden one. The central characters each have a major life moment and along the way there are appropriately grand-scale surprises (including an unexpected visitor, a huge happening, a giant announcement, and a major life step). On Tuesday, the finale taping had a gaggle of journalists on hand covering the show’s swan song and, afterward, a bowl of fortune cookies was strategically placed by the press exit. Cracked open, the cookies turned out to be a winking farewell message from a most-fortuitous TV franchise: “If you don’t believe in goodbyes, there’s always syndication…”

Below, a sampling of the social media sentimentality for The Big Bang Theory’s final taping.

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knock, knock, knock, thank you… Thank you, apartment 4A, for being a home to so many dreams come true, to so many friendships made. And thank YOU, ALL of you – yes, YOU, reading this right NOW! As we get ready to tape our final episode tonight, to walk in and out of this apartment door for the last time, it is hard to find the words to articulate what a profound experience this has been. But the words “love” and “gratitude” come to mind… so love and gratitude to all of you. ALL of you. Thank you. ❤️ (oh! and happy birthday to @sanctionedjohnnygalecki and @kunalkarmanayyar – talk about good timing… may your next 12 years be as vibrant and wonderful as the last 12 years in which i’ve had the pleasure to know and work with you both 🎉)

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It is an overwhelming day to say the least. All of the feelings: gratitude, sadness, joy, excitement, grief…it's the end of a huge part of our lives and the beginning of who knows what. Thank you to the millions of people who love this show. Thank you for the lessons we have learned from you all. Thank you to our writers for caring so very much about these characters you all believe in and trust. Thank you for making our family a part of your family's laughter, tears, and challenges. I get to play dress up for a living and I am so honored to be a part of this cast, this crew, this staff, and this wonderful show about how these brilliant characters live, think, and love. It all started with a big bang. ❤️💥

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💫 Final bows tonight 💫 @bigbangtheory_cbs

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#SimonHelberg and I have logged so many hours talking about acting and theater and film and everything we’re passionate about and have been blessed to be able to do for a living. One of the funniest people I’ve ever met, on screen and off. With all the phenomenal success of the show, Simon’s passion for the work has never changed. Still exploring. Still asking questions. Still doing spot on impressions of Christopher Walken that make you spit your milk out. Love this guy.

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Leonard Hofstadter, PhD.

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💛 Forever 💛 @kaleycuoco @kunalkarmanayyar @missmayim @therealjimparsons @sanctionedjohnnygalecki #simonhelberg

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While Stuart may have taken up residence in the Wolowitz household @kevsussman took up residence in a special place in my heart 💕 #Repost @kevsussman with @get_repost ・・・ The friends you make along the way… One of the best things about showing up to Stage 25 all these years has been seeing @themelissarauch ‘s smiling face.

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You know you work with wonderful and extremely thoughtful people when they celebrate your June birthday along with today’s birthdays (@kunalkarmanayyar @sanctionedjohnnygalecki ) because you won't be together when it comes around this summer. 📸 by the lovely and talented: @ansleyrix

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Knock Knock Knock. “Sheldon” • Knock Knock Knock. “Sheldon” • Knock Knock Knock. “Sheldon” • “I bet that started off as a joke, but by the third one you realised there was something strangely enjoyable about it. • “Yeah, I kinda wanna do it again.” • “I wouldn’t, you’ll be doing it the rest of your life.” • 📷: @therealjimparsons • 💔😢💔😢💔😢💔😢💔😢💔 . . #JimParsons #KaleyCuoco #JohnnyGalecki #SimonHelberg #KunalNayar #MelissaRaunch #MayimBialik #TheBigBangTheory #ChuckLorre #SheldonCooper #Penny #LeonardHofstader #HowardWolowitz #RajKoothrapali #BernadetteWolowitz #AmyFarrahFowler #TwelveYearsLater #FinalGoodbye #FinalTaping

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Thank you Thank you for your words Thank you for your encouragement Thank you for tuning in night in and night out Thank you for the stories you shared about how this show made you feel Thank you too, for the not so nice times Thank you, for lifting us up when we were down Fame can feel like a cage, so Thank you for making us feel safe enough to be free. Thank you for letting me share my birthday on stage with my six best friends, And Thank you, for you, because without you- there would be no us. So this goes out to you, the fans… One last time. In love and gratitude, -Kunal

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This set. Getting packed up. 😭

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Gonna miss napping next to @missmayim. We nap in adjacent dressing rooms, so we simulated what that would look like if you removed the wall. Did I mention that Mayim’s room is also where I’ve had some of my most productive psychotherapy sessions? Thank you Dr. Bialik. ❤️

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Do @kaleycuoco and I look like we’re keeping it together? Took this right before our final speed read. Before our final taping. Before my final emotional breakdown. Gonna miss working with Kaley so much. Sometimes you get to work with an actor that's so thoroughly in the moment that you can look to them at any time to ground you – Kaley has been that for me for eleven years. ❤️

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Goodnight from stage 25. @bigbangtheory_cbs

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This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2019/04/finale-big-bang-theory-finale-last-sheldon-jim-sherman-kaley-cuoco-1202605120/