Young Sheldon, the much talked about spin-off series of Big Bang Theory, is officially getting a season run at CBS. The series will focus on a child version of character Sheldon Cooper, who on Big Bang Theory is played by Jim Parsons. The new series was created by Big Bang Theory creator Church Lorrie and showrunner Steve Molaro, without Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady attached.
Big Little Lies actor Iain Armitage will play little Sheldon, while Zoe Perry will play his mother (the role that was originally played by her own mother Laurie Metcalfe). The project is said to revolve around a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he lives with his family in East Texas and goes to high school. Sheldon will also have a father, a twin sister, and older brother. Cast members will include Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Raegan Revord and Montana Jordan. The series will be narrated by Jim Parsons, the Emmy-winning actor who portrays adult Sheldon in Big Bang Theory.
Young Sheldon has been described as a ‘Malcolm in the Middle with a young Sheldon’. The spin-off series will be a single camera series, compared to Big Bang Theory which has followed the multi-camera format. Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book) will be directing the pilot episode.
The socially-awkward, genius Sheldon Cooper has been one of the most highly praised roles on comedy television today. Actor Jim Parsons has won a Golden Globe, as well as four Primetime Emmy awards for his portrayal of the quirky theoretical physicist.
In an interview with Variety in February 2016, Parsons commented on what stood out to him in the character of Sheldon:
I guess in a general way it relates to the thing that I loved about him from the moment I read the pilot, and for nine years now, which is just enough level of cluelessness to get away with saying some of the most outlandish and inappropriate things… one of my favorite types of humor is people not understanding the situation and plunging forward in it. And as an actor it is just really fun to get to do that, to get to say inappropriate things and, frankly, to have a character who comes by it honestly, who’s not trying to be mean.
The seven lead stars of Big Bang Theory are currently some of the most highly paid tv actors in the business, and the news of this new spin-off come just as their current contracts are set to expire at the end of the current 10th season. According to rumors, a new two-year deal is being drafted, suggesting The Big Bang Theory will continue for two more years before the final season.
Given that Lorre still has Big Bang Theory, and that his comedy Mom is expected to be renewed for a second season, Young Sheldon will be his third series that is currently on CBS. He also has Netflix comedy Disjointed starring Kathy Bates, which is part of his deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Young Sheldon is expected to premiere later this year on CBS.