'The Big Bang Theory' finale

Kaley Cuoco, left, and Johnny Galecki in "The Big Bang Theory" season six finale. (CBS)

While most of the media attention is focused on NBC on Thursday as "The Office" comes to a close after nine seasons, CBS plans to throw a major cliffhanger at fans of "The Big Bang Theory."

According to star Simon Helberg, who revealed the sixth season finale plans in an interview with the Associated Press, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) will get a job offer to ship out to sea with Stephen Hawking's crew on a boat in the North Sea for four months. But will that mean leaving Penny (Kaley Cuoco) behind?

And don't forget about Sheldon (Jim Parsons), who also doesn't want to see Leonard leave him for months at a time. But don't think that's because Sheldon's getting all emotional here -- he just doesn't want to lose his personal chauffer.

What will Leonard do?

For a series that signifies such a deep affiliation with nerd culture to its fans, "Big Bang Theory" has had a penchant for tugging at the heart and not the brain for its cliffhangers. Take for instance the season four finale, which had Penny accidentally sleeping with Leonard's best friend Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and having their entire friend circle find out. Or last season's finale, which had Howard (Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) marrying before Howard's trip into space.

The mix of brains and heart has been successful for the show, which featured its highest-rated episode ever in its sixth season (the Jan. 10 episode that featured the guys' trip to the Bakersfield Comic-Con) with 20 million viewers.

But fans won't need to worry about having the cliffhanger go unresolved. The series has already been renewed for a seventh season, and according to Helberg, he doesn't feel it's going to slow down anytime soon.

"I think we're all having a good time," Helberg told the AP. "And I think the show is far from being stale. It is kind of constantly -- not reinventing itself -- but just expanding on these characters. So, yeah, I think we're going strong for now, as long as people keep inviting us in."

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