Three fan favorite comedies are reportedly coming to an end next year. But will they actually say goodbye?
CBS' The Big Bang Theory, as well as ABC's Modern Family and The Goldbergs are all heading into the final year of their multiple-season renewal deals, and discussions have reportedly started to determine if the three hit series will indeed come to an end.
The Big Bang Theory, created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, is heading into its 12th season in the fall after producers inked new deals with the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Back in August, Lorre told THR that "[o]ne could easily presume [season 12] would be the end of the series," while acknowledging that producers never imagined they'd get to season 11. The season 11 finale will feature the wedding between Jim Parsons' Sheldon and Bialik's Amy in what many viewers presumed would be the end game for the show.
Sources say WBTV and CBS have had conversations about continuing the series beyond the upcoming 12th season, which would require signing the stars to new deals to return to the series, though a decision could be made post-upfronts in May.
The comedy series continues to be a ratings monster, with the network using it to launch spinoff series Young Sheldon this season. Young Sheldon has already been renewed for a second season.
"We know we have season 12; we don't know what we have beyond there," Big Bang showrunner Holland told THR in late April. "Our goal of doing season 12 is to not leave anything on the table. If this is going to be the end, they should tout it as the final season, but I'm not sure when we'll have a definitive answer on that."
Modern Family's story is somewhat more complicated, as the pending Fox-Disney deal is expected to play a role in talks between ABC and 20th Century Fox continuing the series. Co-creator and co-showrunner Steve Levitan has said in the past the "plan is to end [the series] at 10."
Fox becoming a part of Disney could change the decision could change. The change would eliminate large licensing fees that would make a season renewal more costly.
"The answer is, I don't know," Levitan told THR about whether the Disney deal would pave the way for additional seasons of Modern Family. "I thought it made sense to do that, but there has been some whispers and some wondering, and so it was never definitive. But we're going to get into it, I expect, relatively soon."
There is also speculation Netflix might be try to sign Levitan and co-creator/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd when their 20th TV deals expire in May. ABC would then have to sign the cast and its creators to new deals.
"I'm open to the best opportunity," Levitan told THR when asked if he would leave 20th for Netflix. "I don't know what it's going to be going forward, and that's the big unknown. That is a giant question mark for people like me. What would it actually look like? Who would I be working with? I'm waiting for more clarity on that. It's been a wonderful experience, and I wouldn't even be thinking about it at all if everything wasn't changing right now."
As for The Goldbergs, the 1980s-set family comedy was renewed for two seasons in 2017 and is heading into its sixth season. The show is a solid performer in the ratings. The series celebrated 100 episodes with creator Adam F. Goldberg already having an endgame in mind.
"The last episode is Adam's [Sean Giambrone] high school graduation, which marks the end of his childhood," Goldberg told THR last year. "I'd love to go beyond season six, but it will always be set in the '80s. We have yet to run out of any videos of mine, and there's just so much from that decade I love."
ABC also recently ordered a 1990s-set spinoff series after Goldberg pushed to air the pilot and the writer reconfigured the series to add A.J. Michalka reprising her role as Lainey from the mothership series.
"At the start of every season, I always plot out an arc for the family members, and there is no plan whatsoever for this to be the last year of The Goldbergs," Goldberg tells THR. "I would go well beyond season six. All I need is the word that ABC wants it to continue."1comments
It's not clear whether ABC or CBS will announce final seasons for this series before their upfront presentations on May 15 and 16, but THR reports the decision could come in the weeks or months that follow.
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. The Goldbergs and Modern Family air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET respectively on ABC.