The Big Bang Theory is finally coming to an end after 12 seasons, its creator has confirmed.
In a joint statement released by Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions- the production company owned by the show's creator, Chuk Lorre- it read, "We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons.
"We, along with the cast, writers, and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show's success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close."
However, news of the show's end wasn't what many fans would have expected. After all, CBS Entertainment head Kelle Kahl said that she expected the show to go beyond the 12th season.
Following an appearance at the TCA summer press tour, she told a reporter, "We don't believe it's the final year. We are in preliminary discussions to renew the show with Warner Bros."
However, this conflicted with the words of the actor Johnny Galecki who plays physicist Dr Leonard Hofstadter who said in January, "The only manner in which the cast has discussed wrapping [The Big Bang Theory] has been that we're all going to be very sad when that day comes. But I think at this point everyone's very comfortable with 12 seasons being a good time to go home and see our families."
Since the show premiered in 2007, it has gone onto become the world's most successful sitcom, with countries around the world buying rights to air the show. It is also TV's longest-running multicamera comedy in history, with 279 episodes to its name.
One of the show's breakout stars, Kaley Cuoco, tweeted shortly after the news that working on the show had "been a dream come true and as life changing as it gets."
She also thanked the worldwide fanbase and the crew for making the show what it is. "To the fans, our crew, families, Chuck Lorre, Warner Brothers, CBS, and everyone who has supported us for so many years, thank you. We are goin out with a bang @bigbangtheory_cbs."
The series finale will air in May, with plot details still unknown.