Jim Parsons has broken his silence about the news The Big Bang Theory will finish at the end of its upcoming twelfth series.
The TV star has won four Emmys for his portrayal of scientist Sheldon Cooper on the hit comedy.
It was announced earlier this week that the show will end in 2019 and reports have circulated that it was Parsons who wanted to leave the series.
In a long tribute on Instagram, Parsons does not mention those rumours but shared a photo of himself with his castmates on set and wrote: “It is hard (nearly impossible, actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory.
“I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in.
“Something else I feel grateful for – and this gratitude needs no time to ‘sink in’ or become more ‘realised;’ this grateful-feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season – but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.”
Parsons also paid tribute to people who work behind scenes on the show, writing: “I feel grateful to our crew – many, many of whom have been with us since day one – and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don’t see them on TV, are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh.
“I am grateful to all the writers of our show – those with us now and those that have come and gone – because, without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever.
“The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand.”
He also referenced the actors who have appeared on the show who are not part of the main cast of Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik.
He wrote: “While I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again and again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast members who aren’t pictured here – whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off.
“You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will fully ever understand.
“I will miss all of you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”