Eclectikus has informed me that upcoming the 12th season of The Big Bang Theory will be the last one. See Google News.
The main force that said "enough was enough" was unsurprisingly Sheldon Cooper – more precisely Jim Parsons which is the nickname that Sheldon uses outside TV sets. ;-) He announced he was "ready to leave".
In recent seasons, the four main actors were getting $1 million per 20-minute episode. It's a lot of money. But I would still tend to think that Sheldon should have been a notch above others – by a notch, I mean $2 million instead of $1 million. It sort of seems to me that he agreed with this assertion of mine.
The Big Bang Theory has been a remarkable and successful sitcom. As it was getting older, it was unsurprisingly losing the Wow factor – and some fans and viewers. You can't keep a series like that "groundbreaking" for an unlimited amount of time.
However, to admit that there were "diminishing returns" isn't the same thing as proving that "it's a smart decision to let the show die". I am skeptical about the CBS' ability to replace this sitcom with a similarly (or more) attractive and profitable one. A very possible scenario is that this cancellation will drive the CBS' journey towards irrelevance in a world where it faces lots of competition on the Internet.
The age of TV – when tens of millions were watching the same program at almost every moment during the day – has really ended. People increasingly watch films that are postponed or delayed, that are stored in various databases etc. It's surely a characteristic of the TV/film market right now. Is it a real progress? I am not so sure. The new format has the ability to introduce more diversity to the thoughts served to the viewers – but it's just a potential. At the end, all of them may end up watching the same kind of stuff at slightly different moments.
Because the realtime broadcast lost some of its importance, we may also say that people are less exposed to the "very newest films" and news. It's also a mixed baggage, I think.
I said I was skeptical about the future of the CBS slot. Well, I am equally skeptical about the TBBT actors' future roles. It seems likely to me that TBBT will remain the role of their lives.
The last season is promised to be a spectacular one, so stay tuned.