Jim Parsons Jim Parsons

A multi-year renewal not only means job security (and $1 million an episode at that), but allows for long-term story planning. For The Big Bang Theory producers, however, it means business as usual.

"The three-year pickup is great and wonderful, but it's not going to change what we do," executive producer Steve Molaro tells TVGuide.com. "The way we've done things has worked out pretty well so far!"

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That method means never looking further ahead than the episode in front of them. So, even with Penny (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) engaged now, it'll be a while before you get a Save the Date.

"I don't think we feel pressure to hit these milestones," Molaro says. "I'm sure some fans want a wedding right away or babies or something, but most of them know ... we try to let the show grow organically, so no wedding or babies for now. We try to let the characters tell us when it's time to let these things happen. There's no map between now and the end of Season 10 of when certain milestones need to be hit. When it feels like the right time, we'll go for it. We're not great at planning too far out in advance and when we have done it in the past, we end up changing our minds anyway!"

But even without a wedding and little Big offspring, there's plenty to look forward to in Season 8. Here are eight things you can expect.

1. Sheldon's return
After taking off in the season finale to find himself and deal with all the changes around him, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) will see his road trip cut short after he gets robbed in his sleeper car in Kingman, Ariz. And who does he call for help? Leonard, not Amy (Mayim Bialik). "That hurts her feelings. They talk about it and they're fine after that," Molaro says. "They're not a couple that changes all that drastically. They do, but it's a slow process. But moving forward, it's fairly status quo for those two."

And does Sheldon come back a changed man? "He's down on himself because he feels like he failed because all his items were stolen and Leonard had to pick him up," Molaro says. "But they do a pretty good job of bucking him up and making him realize that he survived this adventure and he is better off for it."

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2. Sheldon's new job
In the second episode of Monday's one-hour premiere, Sheldon will get the chance to switch his study to dark matter — but with a caveat. "One of the solutions the university was able to come to was if Sheldon were to become a junior professor. That would allow him to make the switch," Molaro says. "So he reluctantly agrees to teach a class." But there is no class! No one has signed up for it... except for Howard (Simon Helberg). "You can imagine how well that goes," Molaro says.

3. Penny's new job
Sheldon's not the only one with a new gig. After the abomination that was Serial Apeist, Penny decides to quit acting and takes a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep at Bernadette's (Melissa Rauch) company. "It's a career she can do really well at, but she doesn't realize it yet," Molaro says. "She's personable. She was able to remember lines as an actress, so she'll remember everything she needs to about the drugs she's representing. She has to go through training and all that, but it will be fun to see her do something new."

4. A very long engagement
Penny's focus on her new job also means all wedding-related stuff is going on the backburner, to the point that they're not even thinking about setting a date yet. "Many people are engaged for a very long time. We're not anti-wedding. It's just they're feeling this out," Molaro says, adding that this doesn't preclude them from tackling issues a married couple would face. "Stuff with money and things like that can come up with them being engaged without us having to rush to the altar and change the fabric of the show," he says. "They're committed to each other. There are a lot of people who are married and don't seem happy. Things are going well right now, so what's the rush?"

Molaro is "99 percent" certain a trip down the aisle won't take place this season ("but since we don't plan ahead, anything can happen") and he personally doesn't want it to. "With a wedding comes different living arrangements. I personally am not ready to not see Leonard and Sheldon living together," he says. "I think that's a big part of the show."

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5. Mommy issues

Stuart (Kevin Sussman) is still caring for Mrs. Wolowitz — and still loving it. That, ironically, won't sit well with Howard. "They're getting close and Howard is feeling replaced as her son, which I'm sure he probably never thought he'd feel," Molaro says. "He and Stuart are really going to go at it for Mrs. Wolowitz's attention."

6. A new comic book store

Like the Dark Phoenix, the comic book store will rise again, but Molaro doesn't know how yet. "There's not enough insurance money to cover it, so everyone's thinking about pitching in," he says. "At some point in Season 8, there will be a new comic book store. What that will look like has yet to be determined."

7. Emily (Laura Spencer) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) still sitting in a tree

The couple is still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, but they'll promptly come down to Earth when Emily meets Leonard and Penny. "She and Penny don't get off on the best foot and Penny makes it her mission to get Emily to like her," Molaro says. "But she and Raj are still going strong, and we'll learn more about her here and there."

8. Angels in the outfield

As an astronaut, Howard will get the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Los Angeles Angels game in the third episode. The show jumped at the opportunity to shoot on location at an actual game and get out of the studio for once. "As Chuck Lorre likes to say, 'We're an indoor cat.' Like the nerds on the show, we don't go outside all that much," Molaro says. "Howard's not good at throwing a ball, shockingly, but he comes up with a very unique solution to get around it. It's a very Big Bang Theory solution."

The Big Bang Theory
returns with two episodes Monday at 8/7c on CBS. It'll move back to Thursdays on Oct. 30 at 8/7c.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)

Check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the Big Bang Theory Season 7 DVD below.