The future of the hit CBS series The Big Bang Theory may be uncertain, but one thing is for sure: the show’s lead character, Sheldon Cooper, will return next season in a new prequel series.
CBS has officially given a straight-to-series order to Young Sheldon for the 2017-2018 season. The new show comes from Big Bang Theory creators Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro, although co-creator Bill Prady does not seem to be involved.
Iain Armitage, a young actor currently co-starring in HBO’s Big Little Lies, will star as the adolescent Sheldon. Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, is an executive producer on Young Sheldon and will narrate the new show as the character’s older iteration.
The new show is described as a sort of Malcolm in the Middle clone, focusing on a 9-year-old Sheldon as he navigates high school in east Texas with his family. In contrast to Big Bang Theory, which uses a multi-camera sitcom format, Young Sheldon will be a single-camera show. Jon Favreau is attached to executive produce and direct the pilot.
Actress Zoe Perry will play Sheldon’s religious mother. That’s pretty perfect casting, considering Perry’s mother, Laurie Metcalf, plays the older version of the character on Big Bang Theory. Lance Barber will play Sheldon’s father, George, with Montana Jordan as Sheldon’s older brother, George Jr., and Raegan Revord as Sheldon’s twin sister, Missy.
The Big Bang Theory is currently in its tenth season, with the cast’s hugely expensive contracts set to expire at the end of the year. Negotiations are underway to sign new two-year contracts, but the show’s continued status as the number one show on television gives the cast a lot of leeway to make demands.
Spin-offs have suddenly become big news on network TV once again. ABC has spin-offs in the works from its hit sitcoms Black-ish and The Goldbergs. Meanwhile, NBC is prepping The Blacklist: Redemption for next season, and CBS has its Good Wife spin-off, The Good Fight, set to launch on CBS All Access.