The Big Bang Theory took time off last week to give way for the Thanksgiving festivities, but the popular sitcom remains on hiatus this week, and its current scheduling situation explains why. Now in its 12th and final season, the CBS series is steadily approaching the middle of its 24-episode year, having already aired nine episodes. But the weekly roll-out of new content has been halted starting last week when it began its two-week mini break.
The show's hiatus came at a crucial time of the show as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) conjugal study hit a major setback, leaving the newlyweds in a miserable state. In "The Citation Negation," the Coopers learned that their Super Asymmetry theory has already been debunked several decades ago by a Russian scientist. Unlike The Big Bang Theory's usual episode format, the conflict didn't get a resolution, leaving the couple still devastated. But while fans are itching to find out how they'll eventually get out of the rut, everyone will have to wait a bit longer to find out what happens next.
Like a lot of other US TV shows, The Big Bang Theory skipped airing new episodes during Thanksgiving week so as not to compete with any special programming lined up by networks. However, while most series already came back to their regular programming schedules, the CBS sitcom remains on hiatus until next week - something that they haven't done since season 9. The sitcom has implemented this extended Thanksgiving break only four times in its 12-season run. The reasoning behind the decision varies on the schedule for that particular year but season 12's two-week hiatus can actually be explained by the current status of the show's filming timetable.
CBS usually starts production around a month before a new season of The Big Bang Theory debuts, giving them enough time to tape advance episodes ensuring that each outing is filmed and edited (takes roughly around a week to do this from rehearsals to post-production) weeks before it's supposed to go on air. The same thing happened this year as filming began on August 21 - more than a month before the premiere on September 24. Since then, production has gone on four one-week breaks to give the cast and crew ample time to rest. But since The Big Bang Theory has rolled out a new episode every week since it debuted, the airing schedule has almost caught up with filming schedule, resulting in episode 9, "The Citation Negation" being shot just a week before it was broadcast on November 15. Taking a two-week airing break gives them more separation with regard to episode turnouts, otherwise, they would eventually have to film an episode the same week it's supposed to air.
Waiting two weeks for a brand new episode might just be worth it, considering that The Big Bang Theory will return with the much-anticipated episode featuring a Young Sheldon crossover titled "The VCR Illumination." As previously announced, young versions of Sheldon (Iain Armitage), Georgie (Montana Jordan) and George Sr. (Lance Barber) will appear in the parent series, and it may have something to do with Sheldon's recent academic failure after Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) found out that someone already debunked the Super Asymmetry paper he and Amy have been working on since last season.
Sadly, the crossover event will also mark the final episode of the series for 2018, and its Thursday night timeslot will most likely be filled with reruns, similar to what they have been doing since Thanksgiving. The show won't air fresh content until January - and by then there will only be 14 remaining episodes before the popular sitcom officially bows out. It's uncertain if there will be any more mini-breaks along the way, but as of now, the show's winter premiere is expected to air January 10, giving them enough time to stretch the season until May.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursday nights @8pm ET on CBS.