CBS is looking to expand the world of The Big Bang Theory. The network is reportedly in the process of developing a prequel to the hit comedy, following the younger years of Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon. Now that it’s officially been ordered to series, more details about the project are beginning to surface. Here’s what we know about the The Big Bang Theory spinoff so far.
1. Jim Parsons will have a role
None of the original The Big Bang Theory cast is expected to be involved in the possible spinoff, with one notable exception. Parsons, who plays Sheldon on the flagship series, will reportedly have a role on the project — behind the camera. He is set to narrate the comedy as “Adult Sheldon.” He is also expected to serve as an executive producer on the spinoff, alongside Lorre and Molaro.
2. The stars
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Little Lies actor Iain Armitage has been cast as the young version of Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper. Meanwhile, Zoe Perry will take on the role of his religious mother, Mary.
Lance Barber, Raegan Revord, and Montana Jordan have also joined the cast. Though details on their roles have yet to be confirmed, The Hollywood Reporter sources suggest that Revord will play a younger version of Missy; Barber will play their father, George; and Jordan will play Sheldon’s older brother, George Jr.
3. It hails from The Big Bang Theory‘s original creative team
The brains behind the original The Big Bang Theory are also spearheading the prequel. As Deadline reports, series co-creator and executive producer, Chuck Lorre is set to serve as a producer on Young Sheldon, as will Big Bang‘s showrunner, Steve Molaro. Lorre’s fellow Big Bang co-creator and executive producer, Bill Prady is also expected to be involved in some capacity.
Also joining the creative team? Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau, who is set to direct the premiere.
4. It will follow Sheldon’s pre-teen years
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the prequel has been been given a straight-to-series order, although the exact episode count for its freshman season has yet to be announced. The show will reportedly be entitled Young Sheldon.
The prequel will reportedly follow Sheldon during his years as a child prodigy, around the age of 12. According to Deadline, the project is described as “Malcolm in the Middle-esque” in tone and style. As of now, it’s unclear exactly which supporting characters will be involved in the show, but any prequel would likely have to include Sheldon’s devout Evangelical Christian mother, Mary Cooper (played on the mothership series by Laurie Metcalf).
The spinoff also has plenty of other potential characters to explore, as The Big Bang Theory has dropped plenty of hints about Sheldon’s childhood in Texas throughout its 10 seasons. Case in point? We know that he grew up with an older brother, George; a fraternal twin sister, Missy; and an absentee father, also named George. He also has a beloved grandmother, Meemaw (played by June Squibb in Season 9).
The show will reportedly be a single-camera comedy — a shift from Big Bang‘s traditional multi-camera format.
5. It had no impact on The Big Bang Theory‘s renewal
As fans know, The Big Bang Theory was recently greenlit through Season 12. The Young Sheldon spinoff did not affect those talks in any way. Now that the Big Bang Theory has been renewed, Deadline reports that it and the spinoff will “be designed in a way that allows them to co-exist,” similar to a movie franchise.
The prequel may also give The Big Bang Theory a little more structure to follow, as the sitcom currently doesn’t plot out its seasons in advance. Instead, the writers go episode by episode.
A premiere date for the Young Sheldon spinoff has yet to be announced, although it will be paired with The Big Bang Theory on Monday nights.
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