CBS is moving forward with its Prequel of Big Bang Theory. The Hollywood reporter has learned that the network has handed out a straight-to-series order for the 2017-18 broadcast season for Young Sheldon. The news comes as the comedy created by Steve Molaro and Chuck Lorre had been casting ahead of production on the pilot this month. This is the first time that the producers and network Warner Bros. Television have confirmed the project. The count of the episode has not yet been determined. Young Sheldon recently cast its star, setting Big Little Lies actor Iain Armitage as the young version of Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper, with Zoe Perry taking on the role of his mother, Mary Cooper, that was originally played by the actress’ mother, Laurie Metcalfe.
In picking up the comedy to series, CBS has also released Young Sheldon’s formal logline, set the pilot director and filled out its cast. The project will revolve around a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he lives with his family in East Texas and goes to high school. The concept was originally described as Malcolm in the Middle with a young Sheldon. Montana-Jordan, Lance Barber and Raegan Revord and have also joined the cast. Details on their roles are being kept under wraps, though sources tell THR that Revord will play a young version of Sheldon’s twin sister Missy; Barber will play George, Sheldon and Missy’s father and Mary’s husband; and Jordan will play George Jr., Sheldon’s older brother.
Young Sheldon hails from Big Bang Theory showrunner Molaro and creator Lorre. Fellow Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady is not attached to the prequel series. Jon Favreau is set to executive and direct produce the pilot. Parsons will narrate the comedy as Adult Sheldon. Lorre, Parsons, Molaro and Todd Spiewak will exec produce the single-camera series. A premiere date has not yet been determined. During Big Bang’s 10-season run, many references have been made to Sheldon’s childhood, growing up as a gifted youngster in Texas with a religious mother.
A prequel series gives the writers a lot of material to work with given Sheldon’s history, as well as a structure to follow. Big Bang, unlike most series on TV, does not plot out its seasons and arcs ahead of time the writers take it episode by episode. The Young Sheldon series pickup comes as the pricey contracts for the seven lead stars of Big Bang expire at the end of its current 10th season. A new two-year deal is said to be in the works, as new deals with the cast are being drafted.