'Big Bang Theory': Will Season 10 Be Its Last?

Co-creator Chuck Lorre and showrunner Steve Molaro talk with THR about the major milestones ahead on the CBS comedy.
Courtesy of Photofest

In its ninth season, CBS' The Big Bang Theory continues to check off major milestones.

The season opened with Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and on-again/off-again girlfriend Penny (Kaley Cuoco) finally getting married and, most recently, featured Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) losing their virginities.

Elsewhere, married couple Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) have reopened the discussion about having children. Former sad sack Raj (Kunal Nayyar) — who in the season-six finale was able to speak to women without alcohol — has a steady girlfriend.

With so many major milestones being checked off the list, the cast locked up under a rich multiyear deal and show renewed through the 2016-17 broadcast season, are producers plotting season 10 as if it's the end of the line?  

"I think so. I can't speak to the future or on behalf of the cast or where we'll be then but it's certainly possible that it could go past that," showrunner Steve Molaro tells THR. "The reality is that maybe season 10 is the ending point. The real answer is I don't know and all I can do right now is go episode to episode and try to make each one the best that we can. There's still so many episodes to go. Even if hypothetically season 10 was the end, I wouldn't be focusing on that yet. That seems like something that would be dealt with way down the line." 

For co-creator Chuck Lorre, the idea of season 10 being the last for TV's No. 1 comedy (among adults 18-49) isn't even a realistic question.  

"I never imagined nine [seasons] and here we are," he tells THR. "I'm not going to presume to know how many years this has because it's ridiculous for me to guess. It's already gone beyond my wildest dreams so anything beyond this … as long as everybody is having a good time and we're making a show we're proud of … then it's worth continuing."

As the series, which ranks as TV's No. 1 comedy among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic, continues to follow the lives of the four lovable nerds and the women who love them, the producers still have a long list of characters and stories they're interested in exploring. For Lorre, that includes Leonard and Sheldon's scientific breakthrough.  

"I'm still fascinated with how their work might impact their personal lives and seeing how progress in their work can change their characters, relationships and themselves," he says. "I'm always intrigued with these guys who have chosen a life of where they're not money motivated; they're not entrepreneurs or looking to get rich; they're looking to unravel the secrets of the universe. I find that fascinating and I like that they're not on the money train but have a very personal mission to learn about the world they live in. I hope we do more of that."

Molaro, meanwhile, reveals that the subject of a formal wedding for Leonard and Penny has come up before, though there are no current plans for one after the fan-favorite couple opted to elope and have the guys watch their Vegas wedding via webcast.

"There are things floating around that we talk about and say, 'Someday, that might happen,' " he says. "There are still a lot of characters out there in this world that we've never met that I'm still excited, over the next season and a half, to get a chance to do something about. We've never met Penny's mom, Leonard's dad, Sheldon's Meemaw or Howard's dad — and that's a big tentpole that's still floating out there." 

In the meantime, the series is approaching its landmark 200th episode this season with Molaro tossing around ideas for what to do. The show's 100th episode featured Leonard and Penny getting back together in an episode that featured a dreamlike sequence that harkened back to the pilot.

"It's such a weird thing! It's just a number! Do we really need to pull out all the stops and do something crazy? I don't know. I've been starting to kick around things we might be able to do if we really want to do something extra special but nothing concrete yet," Molaro says.

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.


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