After the big 200th episode of “The Big Bang Theory” Thursday night, the series’ cast finds itself operating at a different level of television stardom. With nine years of filming under his belt as the lead of the show, actor Jim Parsons is now looking back on his time with the CBS situation comedy, as well as on its inevitable end.

With the hit sitcom taking a break for a week before returning with a new episode, its stars have a chance to bask in the glory of being parts of the small number of series that have lasted for 200 episodes.

Variety asked Parsons to reflect on the time he has spent bringing the enigmatic character of Dr. Sheldon Cooper to life. The actor replied by confessing he responded to Cooper’s propensity for deflating any sentimentality on the show with cold, hard logic. According to Parsons, he and the show’s writers were on to something special when they began working with that dynamic of the character as early as the pilot. Sadly, as much fun as the cast and writers still have playing together, the actor acknowledged that, after nine seasons, the show is closer to its finale than its premiere. How then does he see the show eventually ending?

“I am painfully aware that if things keep going the way they’re going — and by that I mean as a cast we have a good time together, which I think we’ll manage, but more importantly the stories are still so enjoyable to be a part of and the writers are still so enthusiastic about character and plot points — if that just continues on through the end, I predict I will feel really good about wherever we wrap it up,” Parsons said. “As in, ‘We left it all out there, we did what we were supposed to do’ and whatever.”

While any fan of “The Big Bang Theory” may be saddened by the idea of the series’ eventual end, there’s still a lot more story to tell between now and then. The cast gathered to speak to the Hollywood Reporter about what’s immediately ahead for the gang in Season 9. With Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) expecting their first child together, and Amy (Mayim Bialik) now aware that Sheldon has an engagement ring with her name on it, there’s still a lot of new situations for them to encounter in life. 

“They’ve all grown in different ways. We’ve tried really hard to let these small moments of growth happen but not let them float away from the characters that we know and love,” Parsons told the media outlet. “To me, that’s the balancing act that we work hard on.”