Young Sheldon

Young Sheldon is an American sitcom television series on CBS created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro. The series is a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory and begins with the character Sheldon Cooper at the age of nine, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school. Iain Armitage stars as young Sheldon, alongside Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord, and Annie Potts. Jim Parsons, who portrays the adult Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, narrates the series and serves as 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. The series premiered as a special preview on September 25, 2017, and two days later, CBS picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes. From November 2, 2017, new episodes began airing weekly. In January 2018, CBS renewed the series for a second season which premiered on September 24, 2018, and in February 2019, for a third and fourth season, with the third season having premiered on September 26, 2019.


The series takes place in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and follows Sheldon Cooper as a young boy attending high school in the fictional town of Medford, Texas. As a nine year old boy attending high school, he tries to fit into the a world full of people, including his own family and friends, who do not quite know how to deal with his unique intellectual capabilities and social ineptitude.
Date references are made within the series to anchor the series' time setting. In the series premiere, adult Sheldon states that "nobody I knew in East Texas in 1989 cared about Newtonian physics". The second season makes a couple of references to 1990. In episode 11 of that season there is an event called the "1990 East Texas Baptist Olympics", and in the season finale Sheldon is listening to a Nobel Prize announcement which can be inferred to have happened in October of 1990. Episode 11 of season two has ALF, a series that ran from 1986 until 1990, featured on the television.

Cast and characters




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. The initial idea for the series came from Jim Parsons, who passed it along to The Big Bang Theory producers. 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, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television. On September 27, 2017, CBS picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes. On January 6, 2018, the show was renewed for a second season, which premiered on September 24 of that same year.
On February 22, 2019, CBS renewed the series for both a third and a fourth season. The third season premiered on September 26, 2019. Warner Bros. Television suspended production on March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the third season with only 21 episodes. At the time of the suspension, production had already begun on the 22nd episode of the season in which Sheldon would have graduated high school. Series co-creator Steven Molaro speculated that scenes already shot for the 22nd episode could be used in the first episode of season 4.


In early March 2017, Iain Armitage was cast as the younger Sheldon, as well as 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. Lance Barber stars as George Cooper Sr., Sheldon's father; he had previously appeared in one episode of The Big Bang Theory. Raegan Revord stars as Missy Cooper, Sheldon's twin sister; Revord getting the part only after repeatedly asking her mother to be allowed to read for the role. Also starring Montana Jordan as George Cooper Jr., Sheldon's older brother. Jim Parsons reprises his role as adult Sheldon Cooper, as narrator for the series. In July 2017, Annie Potts was cast as Meemaw, Sheldon's grandmother.

Overlap with the parent series

In most cases different actors are used to portray a given character in the two series, to account for the age difference. Jim Parsons is a notable exception in that he appears in both series as the same character, though in this series his appearance is limited to voice only. Bob Newhart appears as Professor Proton in both series; with the appearance in this series the character is made to look younger. Iain Armitage, Lance Barber, and Montana Jordan make a guest appearance in the parent series in a scene in which a VHS tape recorded decades earlier is played. 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. Elon Musk makes cameo appearances as himself in both series. Mark Cendrowski, who was the main director for the parent series, has directed select episodes of this series as well.
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 the parent series 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. 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. 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.

Title sequence

The show's title sequence is played to the song "Mighty Little Man" by Steve Burns. The song is the first track in Burns' 2003 album Songs for Dustmites. The title sequence was changed in Season 3 to include the entire Cooper family. Prior to Season 3, the title sequence only showed Sheldon. Along with adding the entire Cooper family, season 3 also made some of the opening sequences unique by having Sheldon dress up in different costumes for different episodes.



Young Sheldon began airing weekly episodes on CBS from November 2, 2017, after The Big Bang Theory. It premiered as a special preview on September 25, 2017.


In May 2020, it was announced that the first three seasons of the series would stream on HBO Max; no release date was announced at that time.



Critical reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 76% approval rating with an average rating of 6.61/10 based on 45 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Young Sheldons appealing cast and relatable themes bring a freshand overall enjoyableperspective to its central character's familiar story." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 63 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Awards and nominations

Home media

The first season of Young Sheldon was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Warner Bros. on September 4, 2018. Similarly, the second season was released on DVD on September 3, 2019 around the same time the Blu-ray was released through Warner Archive Collection. The third season will be released on DVD and manufacture-on-demand Blu-ray on September 1, 2020 by Warner Home Entertainment and Warner Archive Collection respectively.