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'The Big Bang Theory' celebrate the series finale with emotional behind-the-scenes photos

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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The Big Bang Theory went out with an emotional bang last night; the long-running CBS series taped its series finale in front of a live studio audience. TV viewers won’t get a chance to see the hour-long farewell until May 16, but the cast offered glimpses behind the scenes via social media. On Instagram, series star Kaley Cuoco shared images of her final group scene with the full ensemble as well as their final bows.

Meanwhile, her co-star, Simon Helberg, let fans in on a pre-show ritual that the cast has shared for the past 12 years and 278 episodes.

Mayim Bialik posted a picture of her view from outside of the show’s soundstages.

Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki shared pictures of the front doors of their characters’ respective apartments. “Thank you, Apartment 4A, for being a home to so many dreams come true, to so many friendships made,” Parsons wrote.

Galecki also visited the audience holding area, where super-fans had camped out eager to be part of the show’s send-off. To say he was greeted warmly was an understatement.

Rather than mourn the end of the series, the cast clearly wanted to keep the mood festive and celebratory. That’s why they took a moment out of the day to celebrate not just one, but three birthdays. Both Galecki and Kunal Nayyar were born on April 30, and while Melissa Rauch has a June birthday, she got a cake AND a pre-birthday selfie.

Naturally, details about the plot of the back-to-back final episodes are being kept tightly under wraps until May 16, when it will be followed by a retrospective hosted by Cuoco and Galecki. Series co-creator, Chuck Lorre, has spoken openly of his affection for the finales of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Newhart and Everybody Loves Raymond, so it’s possible that elements of those will creep in here. And speaking with Yahoo Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con last year, executive producers Steve Holland and Steven Molaro revealed that their dream guest stars remain Harrison Ford and Sir Patrick Stewart. A Solo/Picard team-up in the series finale? Make it so.

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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