The Big Bang Theory is once again taking a break, and it won't return until April. A month before season 12 premiered back in September, many fans were shocked to learn that The Big Bang Theory was canceled considering its popularity. It turns out that lead actor Jim Parsons, who plays genius but socially inept Sheldon Cooper, didn't want to return past season 12 despite being offered massive pay for him and his co-stars. Instead of forcing the issue, CBS just decided to end The Big Bang Theory with a full season order enough to properly send the characters off.
With 17 episodes already locked in, fans are only left with seven remaining ones airing between now and The Big Bang Theory's one-hour series finale on May 16. However, loyal viewers of the long-running sitcom will have to wait for a while to watch a brand new outing for the beloved Pasadena gang with The Big Bang Theory taking yet another hiatus.
It looks like The Big Bang Theory will be taking a three-week break with no fresh episode scheduled to release until April 4. Like in previous weeks where no new episodes of the hit sitcom rolled out, CBS is expected to fill its vacated timeslot with reruns of episodes from earlier this season. This gives a chance for audience members who are not caught up to do so before The Big Bang Theory season 12 returns for its final batch of episodes.
While this fragmented airing schedule is understandably frustrating for fans, it's worth noting that this has always been how The Big Bang Theory's timetable has been handled after it returns from its winter break. The schedule has something to do with the so-called sweep period between April 25 to May 22 (this year). Data collected during these specific dates (also in November, February, and July) are used by advertisers and stations to decide on the advertising rates for the rest of the year - the higher the ratings a network poses, the higher they can drive the prices for advertisements slots. CBS obviously wants to capitalize on The Big Bang Theory's popularity being one of the most top-rated shows today for business, especially since this will be the last year that it will be on air.
The good news is that, once The Big Bang Theory returns on April 4, there will significantly be less or even no more breaks as we inch towards the finale. This will depend on whether CBS counts the show's 0ne-hour special finale as one or two outings - if it's the latter, there will be a new episode from there moving forward, if it's the former, there will be at least a week off in schedule.
By that point, fans can also expect The Big Bang Theory's storytelling to become more serialized compared to procedural, which has been the case for the most par of its final season. Lingering plot points such as Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon's bid to become Nobel Prize in Physics awardees, as well as Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard's (Johnny Galecki) baby issue will be tackled more heavily setting both couples up for their respective endgames. Raj's (Kunal Nayyar) seemingly forgotten wedding plot will hopefully get some progress. His fiancee, Anu (Rati Gupta), has been missing-in-action the last few episodes - with no mention whatsoever from either Raj or his friends.
The last time fans saw the Pasadena crew, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Penny traveled to San Diego for a 2-day work convention. This left Halley and Michael in the care of their father, Howard (Simon Helberg), who, in turn, tapped the help of his friends to babysit. The episode was full of laughs, but it barely sets up anything with regard to the aforementioned loose subplots. That will change once new episodes roll out early next month.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights on CBS.