Young Sheldon is a single-camera prequel to The Big Bang Theory. Created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro, Young Sheldon follows the early life of Sheldon Cooper growing up as a boy genius in East Texas.
Young Sheldon has been renewed by CBS for a fourth season to air in 2020/21. The fourth season is expected to premiere in November, subject to production delays caused by the pandemic.
Iain Armitage (Big Little Lies) stars as nine-year-old Sheldon Cooper, who is leaving his twin sister's class behind to jump ahead to high school. Zoe Perry, the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf who portrays Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, stars as Sheldon's mother. Lance Barber, who previously guest starred on The Big Bang Theory in an unrelated role, plays Sheldon's father, George Sr. Raegan Revord stars as Sheldon's twin sister, Missy, and Montana Jordan plays Sheldon's older brother, George Jr.
Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Designing Women) joined the show in July 2017 as a series regular, starring as Sheldon's beloved grandmother, or "Meemaw". Her character is described as a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking Texan grandmother who is highly supportive of her grandson's intellect. Meemaw was widowed in 1985 when Sheldon's grandfather, or "Pop-Pop", passed away.
Jim Parsons narrates the series as adult Sheldon.
Young Sheldon was created by The Big Bang Theory co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre and executive producer Steven Molaro. Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak will serve as executive producers on the show, which is produced by Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television.
In August 2017, it was announced that Steven Molaro had left his role as showrunner on The Big Bang Theory to take the same role overseeing production on Young Sheldon. Iron Man and Elf director Jon Favreau directed the pilot episode of Young Sheldon.
Jim Parsons approached The Big Bang Theory's producers with an idea for a show about a young boy genius, an idea that came to him after observing his own smart nephew. The idea turned into an origin story for The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper, extending the backstory of his childhood in East Texas which has often been retold on The Big Bang Theory.
In November 2016, press reports indicated CBS was in negotiations for a The Big Bang Theory spin-off focusing on a young Sheldon Cooper. In March 2017, Iain Armitage was cast as Sheldon and Zoe Perry as his mother, Mary. CBS officially ordered Young Sheldon to series in March 2017.
CBS aired the special debut of Young Sheldon on Monday, September 25, 2017. Just two days after the series premiere, CBS gave the show a full-season order of twenty-two episodes. Young Sheldon returned Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 8:30/7:30c, following The Big Bang Theory as it moved back to Thursday nights. The first season finale aired Thursday, May 10, 2018.
In January 2018, CBS renewed Young Sheldon for a second season in the 2018/19 season. The second season of Young Sheldon premiered with a special broadcast on Monday, September 24, 2018 and moved back to Thursday nights on September 27. The second season finale aired Thursday, May 16, 2019, following the series finale of The Big Bang Theory.
In February 2019, CBS ordered another two seasons of Young Sheldon, taking the show through to its fourth season in 2020/21. At its Upfront presentation in May 2019, CBS announced that Young Sheldon would inherit the Thursday 8/7c time slot from The Big Bang Theory for the 2019/20 season. In June 2019, CBS announced that Young Sheldon would return for its third season on Thursday, September 26.
The third season premiere of Young Sheldon aired on CBS on Thursday, September 26 in its new 8/7c time slot. Production was cut short on the third season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show produced 21 episodes, instead of the originally planned 22. The third season finale aired Thursday, April 30, 2020.
On August 26, 2020, CBS confirmed that its fall line-up, including the fourth season of Young Sheldon, would be delayed due to production delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The network is hopeful that its new programming can start rolling out in November 2020.
In August 2020, Warner Bros. TV and ViacomCBS announced Young Sheldon will join Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite line-up in November. The cable network will broadcast the first three seasons of the show, with the fourth season arriving in 2021.
In May 2020, WarnerMedia announced that its recently-launched HBO Max service had won the streaming rights to Young Sheldon in the United States. The first three seasons of the show will join the service in September. HBO Max is also the exclusive streaming home of The Big Bang Theory in the United States. Neither show had previously been licensed to a streaming service in the United States.
Young Sheldon airs on CTV in Canada alongside The Big Bang Theory. Warner Channel airs Young Sheldon across Latin America and in Brazil, while Warner TV airs Young Sheldon in Asia.Young Sheldon started airing in Germany on ProSieben on January 8, 2018.
Young Sheldon airs on E4 in the United Kingdom. The show premiered in the U.K. in February 2018 and the third season began airing on E4 on October 10, 2019.