Producer Chuck Lorre has finally called time on indie darling TV series The Big Bang Theory after 12 seasons. The show had a rocky start, but viewers quickly developed a deep kinship for the cult hit’s well-rounded characters. Stand-offish waitress Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and hapless everyman Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) romance gripped millions of hearts around the world, just as the suave Sheldon broke them (Jim Parsons, in what will surely be a career-defining role).

sheldon, penny, and leonard having an argument

The three central characters engage in typical shenanigans.

The show will finish its run at the end of this series, leaving followers with a decuple-teasing 279 episodes to re-watch every Friday night.

CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl has called The Big Bang Theory “the defining comedy of its generation.” Her words will speak deeply to the show’s legion of nihilist Gen Y fans.

In the 12 years it’s been on the air the offbeat show has received 52 Emmy nominations and won ten. That’s a giant 19% success rate. As Sheldon would say: “Bazinga!”

Was the end of this show as inevitable as the theorised heat death of the universe? Yes, said Lorre. “All shows except The Simpsons come to an end.”

The cast, crew, and novelty T-shirt producers are all saddened by the show’s end, but grateful for the experience.

The final season will premiere on September 27.