'The Big Bang Theory' Will Leave One of Its Biggest Mysteries Unanswered

The Big Bang Theory will this year end its 12-season run on CBS and at least one mystery will remain unsolved: Penny’s maiden name. After a dozen seasons, The Big Bang Theory viewers know Kaley Cuoco’s character only by her first name. She gained a new last name after marrying Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). There are no plans to reveal her previous name before the May 16th series finale. “[Eventually] we got nervous and superstitious about giving her one,” executive producer Steve Molaro tells The Hollywood Reporter. “[I]t will always be Hofstadter.” The Big Bang Theory fans will have to learn to live with that mystery forever.

In January, Cuoco spoke to Entertainment Tonight about The Big Bang Theory coming to an end. "I was laughing," Cuoco said of her reaction to receiving the news. "I was like, 'How are we gonna shoot that last episode?' I was hoping we were gonna pre-shoot a lot of it 'cause I think there are gonna be a lot of tears. It's gonna be tough, it's gonna be a lot of emotions and I love our crew. I just love the people that we're with every day so, you know, all good things come to an end. Everyone is still madly in love with each other. We're all OK with the choice. We've just grown up together, so it's our adult decision."

The Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre also shared his thoughts on the series ending after 279 episodes. “I didn’t anticipate Season 2! We didn’t know if we were going to make it,” Lorre said. “I don’t dream like that. The dreams are, ‘How do we make the show we’re doing right now better? How do we fix that scene in the second act? Is the story working, are the jokes working…? You’re focused on what’s right in front of you.”

Cuoco’s co-star, Jim Parsons, expressed mixed feelings about leaving the series behind. “It’s both as complex and as simple as just feeling innately that it was time. It speaks to a lot of things, none of them bad," Parsons shared with Entertainment Weekly. "There is no negative reason to stop doing Big Bang. It felt like we have been able to do this for so many years now, it doesn’t feel like there is anything left on the table. Not that we couldn’t keep doing it, but it feels like we’ve chewed all the meat off this bone."

Are you bothered that you’ll never learn Penny’s maiden name? Let us know in the comments. The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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