Young Sheldon
Title card used in the first two seasons
GenrePeriod sitcom
Created by
Based on
Showrunners
Starring
Narrated byJim Parsons
Theme music composerSteve Burns
Opening theme"Mighty Little Man" by Steve Burns
Ending theme"Mighty Little Man" (instrumental)
ComposersJeff Cardoni (the rest of the series)
John Debney (pilot only)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes141 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerTimothy Marx
Cinematography
  • Tim Suhrstedt (pilot only)
  • Fred "Buzz" Feitshans IV
Editors
  • Jeff Seibenick (pilot only)
  • David Helfand
  • Brian Merken
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time18–21 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkCBS
ReleaseSeptember 25, 2017 (2017-09-25) –
May 16, 2024 (2024-05-16)
Related

Young Sheldon is a coming-of-age sitcom television series created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro that aired on CBS from September 25, 2017, to May 16, 2024. The series is a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory that takes place during the late 80s and early 90s and follows child prodigy Sheldon Cooper as he grows up with his family in East Texas. Iain Armitage stars as Sheldon, alongside Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord, and Annie Potts. Jim Parsons, who portrayed the adult Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, narrated the series and was also an executive producer.

Development of the prequel series began in November 2016, from an initial idea that Parsons passed along to The Big Bang Theory producers. The following March, Armitage and Perry were cast, and the series was ordered by CBS. Young Sheldon premiered as a special preview on September 25, 2017, and was picked up for a full season that began airing weekly on November 2, 2017. In March 2021, CBS renewed the series through to a seventh season, which premiered on February 15, 2024. In November 2023, CBS announced that the series would end after its seventh season.[1] The one-hour series finale aired on May 16, 2024.[2] Since its release, the series has received positive reviews from critics and fans alike.

In January 2024, it was announced that a spin-off series focused on Georgie Cooper and Mandy McAllister was in development. In March 2024, CBS greenlit the series, titled Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage.

Premise

The series follows Sheldon Cooper's early life as a child prodigy in the fictional town of Medford, Texas. As he grows up, he tries to fit into a world of people, including his own family and friends, who struggle to cope with his intellectual capabilities and social ineptitude.[3][4] While the timeline begins in the fall of 1989, the passage of time is indicated by episodes referencing historic or pop cultural events from the early 1990s, some of which are unique to the US.[5][6]

Cast and characters

Main article: List of The Big Bang Theory franchise characters

Main

Recurring

Guest

Original cast cameos

Episodes

Main article: List of Young Sheldon episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankAvg. viewers
(millions)
First airedLast aired
122September 25, 2017 (2017-09-25)May 10, 2018 (2018-05-10)616.30[20]
222September 24, 2018 (2018-09-24)May 16, 2019 (2019-05-16)514.37[21]
321September 26, 2019 (2019-09-26)April 30, 2020 (2020-04-30)811.45[22]
418November 5, 2020 (2020-11-05)May 13, 2021 (2021-05-13)129.45[23]
522October 7, 2021 (2021-10-07)May 19, 2022 (2022-05-19)89.21[24]
622September 29, 2022 (2022-09-29)May 18, 2023 (2023-05-18)69.32[25]
714February 15, 2024 (2024-02-15)May 16, 2024 (2024-05-16)69.10

Production

Development

In November 2016, it was reported that CBS was in negotiations to create a spin-off of The Big Bang Theory centered on Sheldon Cooper as a young boy. The prequel series, described as "a Malcolm in the Middle-esque single-camera family comedy" would be executive produced by The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre and producer Steven Molaro, with The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady expected to be involved in some capacity, and intended to air in the 2017–18 season alongside The Big Bang Theory.[26][27] The initial idea for the series came from Jim Parsons (who portrays the adult Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory), who passed it along to The Big Bang Theory producers.[10] On March 13, 2017, CBS ordered the spin-off Young Sheldon series, which was created by Lorre and Molaro. Jon Favreau directed and executive produced the pilot. Parsons, Lorre, Molaro and Todd Spiewak also serve as executive producers on the series, for Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Television.[3] On September 27, 2017, CBS picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes.[28] On January 6, 2018, the show was renewed for a second season, which premiered on September 24 of that same year.[29][30]

On February 22, 2019, CBS renewed the series for both a third and a fourth season.[31] The third season premiered on September 26, 2019.[32] Warner Bros. Television suspended production on March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the third season with only 21 episodes.[33] Production for the fourth season began on September 22, 2020, and premiered on November 5, 2020.[34] Production for the fourth season concluded on March 15, 2021.[35]

On March 30, 2021, CBS renewed the series for a fifth, sixth, and seventh season.[36] The fifth season premiered on October 7, 2021.[37] The sixth season premiered on September 29, 2022.[38] The seventh season was on hold due to 2023 Writers Guild of America strike. In October of that year, writing resumed when the strike ended.[39] The seventh and final season premiered on February 15, 2024.[40] On November 14, 2023, CBS announced that the series would end after seven seasons,[1] with the series finale airing on May 16, 2024.[41] The final season consisted of a total of 14 episodes,[42] and it finished filming on April 16, 2024.[43]

Casting

In early March 2017, Iain Armitage was cast as the younger Sheldon, and Zoe Perry as his mother, Mary Cooper. Perry is the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who portrays Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.[10] Lance Barber stars as George Cooper Sr., Sheldon's father; he had previously appeared in one episode of The Big Bang Theory.[44] Raegan Revord stars as Missy Cooper, Sheldon's twin sister; Revord only got the part after repeatedly asking her mother to be allowed to read for the role.[45] The show also stars Montana Jordan as George Cooper Jr., Sheldon's older brother. Jim Parsons reprises his role as adult Sheldon Cooper, as narrator for the series.[4] In July 2017, Annie Potts was cast as Meemaw, Sheldon's grandmother.[11] In March 2024, it was announced that Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik will guest star on the series finale as their original characters from The Big Bang Theory. [46]

Overlap with the parent series

Jim Parsons provides voiceover for the series. In the Season 4 episode "Graduation", Mayim Bialik (as Amy, the wife of adult Sheldon) has a brief voice-over role while Sheldon describes the graduation party for their son Leonard, whom he reveals was named after Leonard Hofstadter and Leonard Nimoy. Amy and Sheldon make their only on-camera appearances together during the series finale in the office of their Pasadena, California home in an unnamed future year, as neither of their children had been born when The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019. Bob Newhart appears as Professor Proton in both series; with the appearance in this series, the character is made to look younger. Iain Armitage (Sheldon), Lance Barber (George), and Montana Jordan (Georgie) make a guest appearance in the parent series in a scene in which a VHS tape recorded decades earlier is played.[47] There are other actors who appear in both series but as different characters. This includes Barber, who had another guest appearance in the parent series as a different character, and Kaley Cuoco who stars in the parent series and makes an uncredited voice appearance in this series, voicing an inanimate object.[48][18] Elon Musk made cameo appearances as himself in both series, appearing in the sixth episode of the first season of Young Sheldon.[49][50][51]

The second-season finale episode aired immediately following the one-hour series finale of the parent series. In a tribute to the parent series finale, several references are made to it in the Young Sheldon episode. The references are both general to the entire parent series, as well as to the series finale in particular. In one scene in the Young Sheldon episode, Sheldon promises his father that when he wins the Nobel Prize, Sheldon will mention him in his acceptance speech. In the parent series finale, Sheldon wins the Nobel Prize, and he does mention his father (among others) in the acceptance speech. In another scene in the Young Sheldon episode, Nobel Prize winners are announced out over a montage showing the main characters from the parent series Leonard, Penny, Raj, Howard, Bernadette, and Amy as children. Christine Baranski and Carol Ann Susi, who respectively portray Leonard's mother and Howard's mother in the parent series, make a voice appearance in the montage (a posthumous appearance in the case of Susi). Following the montage, adult Sheldon says that he was wrong about feeling at the moment of the Nobel prize announcement that he would be all alone for the rest of his life.[52]

Title sequence

The show's title sequence is played to Steve Burns' "Mighty Little Man", the first track from his 2003 album Songs for Dustmites.[53] The background in the first two seasons shows mountains and a desert, whilst the foreground has Sheldon (usually in bow tie, checked shirt, shorts and cowboy boots) walking out, standing triumphantly, noticing a cow, and backing away from it before resuming his triumphant look as the logo appears and tilts to the sky. Occasionally, a tumbleweed appears, instead of the cow. The title sequence was changed from Season 3 onwards to include the entire Cooper family, as well as showing Sheldon in different costumes, such as Albert Einstein, Mr. Spock, The Flash, an astronaut, and a train engineer.[54] Season 5 features a black bull in place of the cow. In Season 7, the title sequence was slightly changed to include Mandy & CeeCee. The Cooper Family doesn't walk away from the bull. Instead, Georgie shoos the bull away.

Release

Broadcast

Young Sheldon began airing weekly episodes on CBS on November 2, 2017, after The Big Bang Theory. It premiered as a special preview on September 25, 2017.[4] The one hour series finale aired on May 16, 2024.[41]

Syndication

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (January 2024)

Reruns of Young Sheldon aired on Nick at Nite from 2020 until 2022, and CMT from 2023 until 2024.[55][56] On September 27, 2021, the series entered syndication in local markets, covering roughly 90% of the United States.[57] The series also entered off-network syndication on TBS and began airing on September 27, 2021.[58] Season 6 premiered on September 29, 2022, and concluded on May 18, 2023.[59]

In the United Kingdom, Young Sheldon is aired on the free-to-air channel E4. Season 1 premiered on February 22, 2018,[60] Season 2 on November 8, 2018, Season 3 on October 10, 2019,[60] Season 4 on October 20, 2021,[61] Season 5 on April 24, 2022,[62] and Season 6 on July 16, 2023.

In Israel, Young Sheldon is aired on Yes Comedy.[63]

Streaming

In May 2020, it was announced that the first three seasons of the series would stream on the WarnerMedia's HBO Max service; no release date was announced at that time.[64] The first three seasons were added on September 2, 2020.[65] The sixth season was added in September 2023.

In October and November 2021, Netflix in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom picked up the streaming rights to the show.[66]The first four seasons of Young Sheldon were added to Netflix in the United States on November 24, 2023.[67]

Home media

The first season of Young Sheldon was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Warner Bros. on September 4, 2018.[68][69] The second season was released on DVD and manufacture-on-demand Blu-ray on September 3, 2019.[70] The third season was released on DVD and manufacture-on-demand Blu-ray on September 1, 2020, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Warner Archive Collection respectively.[71] The fourth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 7, 2021.[72] The fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 6, 2022.[73] The sixth season was released on DVD on September 5, 2023; no Blu-ray version was released.[74] The seventh and final season will be released on DVD on September 24, 2024, along with a complete series set.[75][76]

Reception

Critical response

For the first season, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 76% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.6/10 and based on 46 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Young Sheldon's appealing cast and relatable themes bring a fresh—and overall enjoyable—perspective to its central character's familiar story."[77] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 63 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[78] The final season received critical acclaim with critics praising the emotional and heartfelt series finale.[citation needed]

Ratings

Further information: List of Young Sheldon episodes § Ratings

Viewership and ratings per season of Young Sheldon
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Viewership
rank
Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49
rank
Avg. 18–49
rating
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Thursday 8:30 p.m.[a] 22 September 25, 2017 (2017-09-25) 17.21[79] May 10, 2018 (2018-05-10) 12.44[80] 2017–18 6 16.30 10 3.3[20]
2 22 September 24, 2018 (2018-09-24) 10.58[81] May 16, 2019 (2019-05-16) 13.60[82] 2018–19 5 14.37 11 2.6[21]
3 Thursday 8:00 p.m.[b][84] 21 September 26, 2019 (2019-09-26) 8.24[85] April 30, 2020 (2020-04-30) 10.14[86] 2019–20 8 11.45 20 1.6[22]
4 18 November 5, 2020 (2020-11-05) 6.77[87] May 13, 2021 (2021-05-13) 7.21[88] 2020–21 12 9.45 22 1.2[23]
5 22 October 7, 2021 (2021-10-07) 7.12[89] May 19, 2022 (2022-05-19) 7.06[90] 2021–22 8 9.21 16 1.0[24]
6 22 September 29, 2022 (2022-09-29) 6.88[91] May 18, 2023 (2023-05-18) 6.97[92] 2022–23 6 9.32 12 0.9[93]
7 14 February 15, 2024 (2024-02-15) 7.99[94] May 16, 2024 (2024-05-16) 9.32[95] 2023–24 TBD TBD TBD TBD

Accolades

The fourth season was one of 101 out of the 200 most-popular scripted television series that received the ReFrame Stamp for the years 2020 to 2021. The stamp is awarded by the gender equity coalition ReFrame and industry database IMDbPro for film and television projects that are proven to have gender-balanced hiring, with stamps being awarded to projects that hire female-identifying people, especially women of color, in four out of eight key roles for their production.[96]

Accolades received by Young Sheldon
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Artios Awards January 31, 2019 Television Pilot & First Season — Comedy Nikki Valko, Ken Miller, and Peter Pappas Nominated [97]
Critics' Choice Television Awards January 13, 2019 Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Zoe Perry Nominated [98]
Annie Potts Nominated
March 13, 2022 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Iain Armitage Nominated [99]
January 15, 2023 Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Annie Potts Nominated [100]
Golden Reel Awards February 17, 2019 Broadcast Media: Live Action Under 35:00 "An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius" Nominated [101]
Golden Trailer Awards May 29, 2019 Best Comedy Poster for a TV/Streaming Series "Norman Rockwell" Won [102]
July 22, 2021 Best Animation/Family Poster for a TV/Streaming Series "Chalkboard" Nominated [103]
People's Choice Awards December 6, 2022 The Comedy Show of 2022 Young Sheldon Nominated [104]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards May 2, 2020 Favorite Family TV Show Nominated [105]
March 13, 2021 Nominated [106]
Favorite Male TV Star Iain Armitage Nominated
April 9, 2022 Favorite Family TV Show Young Sheldon Nominated [107]
Favorite Male TV Star (Family) Iain Armitage Nominated
March 4, 2023 Favorite Family TV Show Young Sheldon Nominated [108]
Teen Choice Awards August 12, 2018 Choice Breakout TV Star Iain Armitage Nominated [109]
National Television Awards September 5, 2023 Comedy Young Sheldon Won [110]

Music

The first and last shots of the series were set to Dire Straits' "Walk of Life."

Spin-off series

Main article: Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage

In January 2024, it was announced that a spin-off series of Young Sheldon, focusing on Georgie Cooper (portrayed by Montana Jordan) and Mandy McAllister (portrayed by Emily Osment), titled Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage, is slated for the 2024–25 season on CBS.[111] On March 5, 2024, CBS announced that the series had been ordered.[112]

Notes

  1. ^ Both seasons premiered on a Monday, with all the other episodes in the respective seasons broadcasting at the designated time slot.
  2. ^ The eleventh episode of the fourth season aired at 8:30 p.m. due to President Biden's address on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown which aired at 8:00 p.m. on March 11, 2021.[83]

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