'Big Bang Theory': What's Next for Sheldon and Amy After the "Divorce"?

Showrunner Steve Molaro talks with THR about what to expect from the fan favorites as well as what season nine has in store for Raj, Howard and Bernadette.

CBS' The Big Bang Theory is poised to explore life post-Shamy during season nine.

Showrunner Steve Molaro tells The Hollywood Reporter that the group dynamic will definitely change now that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) have hit a very dramatic pause in their relationship. But that doesn't mean that Sheldon — who had a ring and seemed poised to propose to his longtime girlfriend — is going to take the split in stride.

Here, Molaro previews what to expect from the duo as well as what's next for Raj (Kunal Nayyar) following his profession of love for partner Emily and how Stuart will continue to annoy Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch).

Sheldon and Amy are now are on a break, to borrow a quote from Friends. How long has Sheldon had that ring?!

In the season premiere, you will learn more about the ring: how long he's had it, and what his mindset about it at the moment is.

Will Amy take advantage of being single now?

This is all new to her and this is as difficult for her as it is for him. He's not making it any easier, so I think they are both feeling their way through this and going through and experiencing feelings and emotions that I don't even think they were expecting.

How is Sheldon handling this rejection?

Not well. He is a man of science and he's been presented with a problem that he can't just think of a solution for. And it's very frustrating. He doesn't immediately turn to anyone for support; instead, he is going to pursue Amy.

How outlandish will some of his plans to win her back be?

His thought processes can get pretty misguided in that that he thinks, "Oh, this will make her jealous and make her like me again," but that will only make her furious. He's not good at leaving her alone. The one thing she asked for was a little bit of time to think and he's not going to give that to her.

We got November sweeps coming, how long do you plan to keep them apart?

Until the time feels right to change what's happening. Right now, the dynamic has been fascinating and interesting. We're seeing all new colors for both of them as well as the way it impacts the group. There's not a set plan — we're feeling this out along the in same way Amy is.

How would Amy respond to learning that Sheldon planned to propose to her? She asked for space but he was actually about to give her something that was more than anything she could have imagined.

That's true. And I'm not sure exactly how she will respond to that; she does not know yet — no one knows — except for the Gollum statue — that he has that ring. It's all very interesting.

Will there be more bonding between Leonard and Sheldon now that they're in such different places? Sheldon needs Leonard more now than ever, but Leonard needs Penny.

That's exactly it: they're trying to all figure it out. We jokingly alluded to the fact that in some way the three of them are kind of married and I think the three of them will need to figure out how this is going to work.

What about Leonard and Sheldon's discovery? In my mind, this is what winds up being part of the show's end game.

They're still involved in that. We've got so many other plates spinning right now that that's not one of the focuses early on in the season. But it will come back and will continue to move forward. And that's another way in which Leonard and Sheldon will continue to be "married."

It seems like this is a perfect situation for Bob Newhart's Professor Proton to return.

That is something that has been in the back of my mind. And that's something that I hope will work out. We adore Bob and we are so proud that he is a member of our family and yes, somewhere in here is a fantastic opportunity for that.

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What about Amy's family? We really don't know a whole lot about her and haven't really met her family, other than a brief mention of her mother.

There was a very brief interaction with her mom years ago, but it was so brief that I don't know how much we are going to say it counts. Coming up, there is a small phone call with her and her mom. There are no immediate plans right now, as far as meeting Amy's family goes.

What does Sheldon and Amy's break do to the group's dynamic? Are we going to see more boys' nights, more girls' nights?

It's tricky. It's weird for Sheldon and Amy to be in a room together, so there are times when Amy is not there, when it's boys' nights and girls' nights. It's a little bit of a divorce, and it's something that the group is feeling their way through.

Let's shift to Raj (Kunal Nayyar). He's so afraid to be alone and really professes his love to Emily (Laura Spencer) out of fear. Will Raj explore his fears of being alone?

Yes, I think over time that is something that he needs to internalize and take a shot at. But in the meantime, he is going the complete opposite way and just pushing that down, and deciding to embrace or attempt to embrace all the things about her that he doesn't like deep down. Which is probably not well advised. [Laughs.]

Sounds like he is going to kind of learn from failure.

I think so! [Laughs.]

How much longer can you really stay with someone he's not interested in?

He's pretty insecure, that's a good question! [Laughs.] I think he can hang in there for a while!

Usually when people are in relationships, they seem to be more attractive. Could Emily make him more attractive to other people? Will we see other people pursuing him?

That's completely possible. The character is a really sweet guy, and he's got a lot to offer: he's wealthy, he's a good-looking guy, I can absolutely see that happening.

I always ask: Could Lucy (Kate Micucci) return?

Absolutely. We love Kate and if it makes sense with the story, without a doubt.

What about Howard and Bernadette? They can't get rid of Stuart (Kevin Sussman) and this seems like a Three's Company-type situation.

He's this sort of border that they can't get rid of. Howard and Bernadette are living in what used to be Howard's childhood home and Bernadette would like this to feel like their home that she's part of. And Stuart will be a point of tension moving forward.I don't know if it's an ongoing storyline. I wouldn't call it a season-long arc, but is definitely at the forefront, rolling into season nine. They're also part of the group and dealing with all these other dynamics that are shifting quickly.

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We talked about this after the season finale, but have you gotten any closer to writing the new Star Wars movies into the show?

We're talking about it. Obviously, it's on our minds; without a doubt it's something that the characters would be interested in so I don't have an exact plan yet, but I'm sure we will address it in some way that makes sense for us.

The Big Bang Theory returns for season nine on Monday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. Click here to see what's in store for newlyweds Leonard and Penny.

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