It wasn’t a whimper but it didn’t exactly qualify as a bang, either.
The Big Bang Theory, which concluded its historic 12-year run in May, was skipped over in the comedy and acting categories in the just-announced nominations for the 71st Emmy Awards but the CBS sit-com’s finale episode did earn three nods, including one for director Mark Cendrowski.
Cendrowski has been the definition of a stalwart presence for the hit series since the start and directed an amazing 244 of its 280 episodes. His first Emmy nomination came last year, so he closes out the career-shaping run with back-to-back nods from his peerage.
“I’m really, really proud of that episode,” Cendrowski told Deadline. “For me it was the perfect way to end the series. It’s not just another half hour of television, it was really something special.”
One challenge Cendrowski faced during the finale taping on the Warner Bros lot in Burbank was the emotion welling up among the cast members. At one point, for instance, he saw the actors getting choked up when one of them mentioned the they were sharing their final full ensemble scene.
“I was saying, ‘No, no, I need one more take, none of that,” Cendrowski recalled with a chuckle.
The finale episode, “The Stockholm Syndrome,” also earned a nomination for editor Peter Chakos in the multi-camera picture editing for comedy category. The episode was also nominated in the category of technical direction camerawork video control for the work of John D. O’Brien, John Pierre Dechene, Richard G. Price, James L. Hitchcock, Brian Wayne Armstrong, and John E. Goforth.
The finale episode garnered the largest audience for any regularly scheduled entertainment program during the 2018-19 season and vanquished HBO’s Game of Thrones series finale by nearly 9 million viewers. CBS said the finale drew 18 million viewers on first count and added 5.4 million in Live+3, per Nielsen Media Research.
The Big Bang Theory also surpassed NBC classic Cheers (275 total episodes) to take over the title as the longest-running multi-camera sitcom in TV history.