The hit CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory is currently in its 10th season, and supposedly is close to being renewed for an additional two. While the series continues to draw in high ratings (and has a heavy presence in syndication), the network is starting to plan for the day Big Bang comes to a close. One day viewers will bid farewell to Leonard, Penny, and the rest of the gang, but the sitcom’s breakout star Sheldon Cooper will continue to entertain on the small screen.
Late last year, a spinoff prequel series called Sheldon (covering the character’s youth) was said to be in development, and it’s picked up some steam in the months since. Child actor Iain Armitage signed on to portray the titular character earlier this month, suggesting the show was close to getting an official green light. Now, CBS has announced plans to move forward with Sheldon.
According to Variety, Sheldon has received a series order for an unknown number of 30-minute episodes. It will launch during the 2017-18 season, so fans do not have to wait much longer to see what creator Chuck Lorre has in store. As initially reported, the series will depict a 9-year old Sheldon making his way through life in Texas and attending high school as a genius. Iron Man and Elf director Jon Favreau will call the shots on the premiere episode.
In addition to Armitage, Sheldon will star Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Raegan Revord, and Montana Jordan in key roles. Perry will play Sheldon’s mother. In a coincidence, Perry is the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who plays Sheldon’s mom on Big Bang Theory. Jim Parsons, who has won four Emmys for his performances as Sheldon on the main series, will serve as an executive producer on Sheldon and narrate the new show as a grown-up Sheldon. While some Big Bang fans are skeptical about this spinoff, the heavy involvement of Parsons hopefully means the material will be in strong hands. Nobody knows the character better than Parsons, and he’ll want to ensure Sheldon is of high quality.
It will be interesting to see how the show unfolds as it progresses through its first season, as television spinoffs can be a mixed bag. Still, Favreau should prove to be a solid choice for director, given his history of crafting fun programming, and Big Bang showrunner Steve Molaro wrote the script for the pilot. If anything, Sheldon should generate high ratings in the early going, if only out of morbid curiosity. Should it win audiences over like its predecessor, CBS could have a new line-up stable for years to come.