When The Big Bang Theory returns for season 12 on Monday, it will be the sitcom’s last-ever season premiere. CBS announced earlier this year that the show will end after this season, so obviously, fans have burning questions about how showrunner Steve Holland and his team plan to wrap things up.
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Holland answered some of those questions, though he was careful not to give too much away. In particular, he talked about Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki), who got married in the season nine premiere after years of will-they-won’t-they tension.
Fans have often wondered if the couple will ever have children, something Cuoco has told ET she doesn’t want because she doesn’t like babies on set. But now that The Big Bang Theory is in its final season, if Penny does get pregnant, it seems like there’s a slim chance she’ll actually give birth before the series finale. At least, that’s what Holland seems to hint during his chat with ET.
“We are certainly going to talk about it,” Holland tells the outlet. “Leonard and Penny are going to have that discussion. They’re at that point in their marriage where they’re like, ‘Are we going to do this or not?'”
Everyone on TBBT has come a long way since the show first premiered, especially Penny and Leonard. Cuoco even recently shared a side-by-side comparison photo of herself on Instagram from the pilot episode and herself in the season 12 premiere to illustrate how her character has changed. Despite the changes this show and its actors have made over the years, one thing has remained the same — we still don’t know Penny’s last name. Holland admitted to ET that it’s likely we never will.
“It was never an intentional thing, honestly,” he said. “At first, it was that we just hadn’t mentioned it and then we realized that we hadn’t mentioned it and then it became just a sort of superstition.” He added, “I think it just won’t sound right. The trickiest one to write was when Penny’s dad came because we couldn’t write him as ‘Mr. Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is,’ so I think he has to cut him off and say ‘Call me Wyatt’ right off the bat.”
Whether or not we learn Penny’s last name in the final season, it sounds like potentially big changes are coming for her and Leonard. Fans shouldn’t stress too much, because regardless of how things pan out, Holland told ET that a “happy ending” for the series seems likely.
“This isn’t spoiling anything — because we haven’t written the episode and there’s nothing to give away yet — but one of the things I love about this show is that it’s a happy and positive show about people who love each other,” he said. “I don’t think it would feel right to have a bummer ending to the show, it just wouldn’t feel in tone.”
The Big Bang Theory season 12 premieres Monday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c on CBS.