Emmys Nominations Snubs

Big Bang Theory Prequel Spinoff in the Works, Centered on a Young Sheldon

This news certainly merits a “Bazinga!”: A prequel spinoff of CBS’ mega-hit The Big Bang Theory is being developed, with a young Sheldon Cooper as the lead character.

CBS and Warner Bros. TV, who produces Big Bang, are working on the project, according to our sister site Variety, with a script deal expected soon. It centers on a young Sheldon growing up in Texas; Jim Parsons, who stars as the adult Sheldon, won’t reprise his role, but he will executive-produce the spinoff, along with Big Bang co-creator Chuck Lorre and current showrunner Steve Molaro. (Co-creator Bill Prady is expected to join as an EP as well.)

Since this is a prequel set decades in the past, no one from the current Big Bang cast is expected to be involved in the project — although we shouldn’t rule out a guest spot. And Laurie Metcalf has been nominated for an Emmy for playing Sheldon’s mom on Big Bang… so perhaps she could reprise her role?

Don’t get too excited, though, Big Bang fans: This prequel series is in the very early stages, with a script still being worked out. But expectations will undoubtedly be high, since the original Big Bang remains TV’s top-rated comedy. The spinoff news comes as the fate of The Big Bang Theory hangs in the balance. The show is only renewed through the current 10th season, with negotiations for more seasons — and new contracts for the highly-paid cast — about to get underway.

Would you watch a Big Bang spinoff about young Sheldon? And who should play him? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.  

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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74 Comments
  1. Mary says:

    Why? I don’t want or need to see a show based on a younger Sheldon Cooper. People don’t just watch the show for him.

  2. James D says:

    No thanks. I’ve got enough Sheldon on TBBT. Also, Sheldon is Jim’s character I highly doubt anyone can embody the character like he does.

  3. ashleytwo says:

    Take a character that is irritating and unfunny on their own (or…in general) and put them in a spin-off. Bound to work…right?

  4. Fan says:

    NO…. ENOUGH WITH THIS FOOLISHNESS HOLLYWEIRD!!!!!

  5. Jay says:

    I know it wouldn’t work with the timeline, but would love Laurie Metcalfe to be in this

  6. Gusar says:

    *sigh*

    Sheldon does not make BBT, the entire ensemble does. The show works because everyone plays so well off each other, not because of a particular individual. But it appears they think Sheldon alone could carry the show. And that’s why it’ll fail.

    • KCC says:

      So you don’t think the new show will have any recurring characters, just Sheldon in every scene? If that’s the case, I agree. I do not want to see a one man show of Sheldon Cooper. They could never develop another ensemble, could they? That would be impossible, even for the same team that developed the ensemble on TBBT.

      • Gusar says:

        An ensemble means several equal characters (more or less). But this intends to be, to quote the article itself, a show that “centers on a young Sheldon growing up in Texas”. So of course there’ll be recurring characters, but a Sheldon-centric show is definitely *not* an ensemble show in the way Big Bang Theory is.

    • Collette says:

      Nah. It would be a completely different situation. Sheldon’s drunken irreverent father, Bible thumping mother, indulgent MeeMaw, normal twin sister and the genius kid coping with redneck east Texas. Kind of a Mama’s Family spawns a smarty with Asperger’s.

    • Yeah, taking a character out of an ensemble show and putting them into a spin off that revolves around them does not work. That would be like taking Frasier Crane out of Cheers and putting him with family members we’ve never met! Or taking the Bunkers neighbors the Jeffersons and, I don’t know, moving them into a deluxe apartment in the sky. Or taking Denise Huxtable and surrounding her with a bunch of college kids. Or taking Joey Tribiani and moving him to….oh damn, I’ve went too far

  7. Dq18 says:

    I want to be invested in characters, and I am with TBBT. I love the evolution of these people over the years. I feel growth and character development are integral to successful shows. Know where Sheldon was when this show began, I don’t see how a prequel could do this justice. The character would likely be very one dimensional and trying to grow it would only end strangely since we know early series Sheldon was not nearly as evolved as he is now. Terrible idea, IMO.

    • KCC says:

      But how did Sheldon get to be the way he was at the beginning of TBBT? He didn’t come out of the womb that way and not change as he got older. Actually the childhood/teen years are when people develop and change the most. Once you reach adulthood, change is not likely. As with all sitcoms it depends on the writing and characters they develop around him.

  8. lena says:

    a “comedy” where the lead is an awkward, stilted prepubescent with the jokes centralised on just how awkward and annoying he is (obviously with a dash of sheldon’s mom making jesus jokes)… no thanks.

  9. I always thought a spin-off set around Stewarts Comic Book Store could work

  10. amadeline says:

    Absolutely would NOT watch. We don’t need anymore obnoxious children on TV, especially one who apparently didn’t learn anything about being a decent, caring human being when he was a child and still thinks he’d the centre of the universe! BAD IDEA!!!

    • Collette says:

      Apparently you never watched Parenthood. Watch the evolution of Max on that show and get a better understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome.

    • You do realize we’re talking about a fictional character, right? He’s not going to come to your house and try to annoy you or teach you something. That box in your living room can be turned off. If someone is forcing you to watch TV shows you don’t like, please reply back saying “Vanilla mixed with allspice is alright”. That will let us know to notify the authorities. Peace and love be with you.

  11. Magali says:

    Nope! Please don’t go there CBS…

  12. Kel says:

    No thanks.

  13. Sheldon is the funniest character in TV history. Could not love him more. So happy about this news.

    • canadian ninja says:

      My thought exactly. Prequels rarely work.

      Now if they want to do a spinoff with Wolowitz in outer space I would gladly not watch.

  14. Ben says:

    Some people are so negative in the comments. I think this could be a great idea. I would watch it! I love the idea of prequels, but the shows I’ve loved in the past their prequels don’t often get picked up. Which I hate. I would love to give this a chance!

  15. flowerduh says:

    NO! THIS TOO SHOULDN’T PASS!

  16. Polly says:

    thanks but no thanks.

  17. Btm says:

    Really? Another prequel? No point to those. No matter what characters do, they eventually end up at the beginning of the real story. Boo.

  18. Coop says:

    Terrible idea.

  19. mario says:

    Knowing that Sheldon is the catalyst for BBT, I don’t think a show just with his character will fly. I thought a better spin-off series would be a Shamy – Lenny concept with the two couples living in the same building or possibly getting houses next door to each other.

  20. Spandex says:

    Pretty much CBS is saying that they have failed to find successful sitcoms and Big Bang Theory is their bread and butter, without BBT, they are in for a rude awakening and a sitcom apocalypse. This is Joey 2.0, let’s not let history repeat itself for this so called prequel.

    • Chris says:

      Joey had its moments, most of the episodes were written by Robert car lock in second season, who’s is a very talented and funny writer. But this is a Terrible idea there would be no way to have any character development given the Sheldon had almost no social skills at the start of Big Bang, so what could he possible have learned as a child that would make this interesting ?

  21. Daphne says:

    Oh what fresh hell is this?

  22. ToyCannon says:

    As long as they keep Laurie Metcalf as Mrs. Cooper, I will watch. The actor who plays the son on “American Housewife” would be a good choice for young Sheldon.

  23. Roberto says:

    I’d rather kill myself than watch this

  24. Cheryl Imbesi says:

    My son is 5 now and should play this role. He is not an actor, he just IS exactly like Sheldon. He even says “Mommy” 3x when he calls me.

  25. mikefrommarkham says:

    I can envision a “flashback” episode of TBBT in which the spinoff cast and concept are introduced to test the interest in such an idea… And while I think it could be fun in that context, I can’t ever imagine it working as a standalone series. Pass.

  26. lrdslvrhnd says:

    I really hope this is actually merits a “Bazinga!” – which is what Sheldon says when he perpetrates a prank. Because I want this to be a prank and not real.

  27. fatalsin says:

    I love TBBT.. And Sheldon IS my favorite… However… it is just as much about the character of Sheldon as it is Jim Parsons beautiful portrayal of said character… so a prequel wouldnt really interest me.. but tv is becoming terribly unoriginal so this should not be a surprise.. I wish they would find something more to do with Raj on the current show rather than worry about a prequel.. hes like a scene stand in anymore.. becuz he isnt paired up like the others

  28. jericho says:

    No, Just plain and simple NO! What made this show funny was the juxtaposition of Penny and the nerds. Now its a family comedy where Sheldon is more the “special” kid they all keep around for diversity. We do not need a Sheldon, Bible vs Science teen sitcom.

  29. Penny L Schroeder says:

    The big bang theory is one of a kind..I am a big fan of the comedy sitcom of the big bang theory..I love the whole cast..I don’t know if I would watch it if the regular actor /actress wasn’t on it ..I just hope that no one takes it off ..the air….I just hope it doesn’t turn out like the sitcom two and a half men
    I stop watching that when it changed…….. please don’t take this away ..perfect people for a great sitcom the big bang theory..

  30. TV Gord says:

    I enjoy when these sorts of stories emerge, because it brings out the typical naysayers who have all the answers to why it wouldn’t work. Of course, if it happens, and it works, they’ll all skitter back under the nearest rock and pretend they never said that.

  31. Sharon says:

    No, just no and ditto for the Good Wife spinoff. Spinoffs should be done early in a series, not in their fading years.

  32. Jim J. says:

    Why this? I’d rather see a “TBBT” spinoff featuring Bernadette. That is my favorite character from “TBBT” and I would rather see more of her. Too bad about the current pregnancy storyline.

  33. Ana says:

    What this news merits is a “Is everyone involved in this too young to remember The Lone Gunmen?”. Some characters work really well when you get them diluted within a show, make a show all about them and it’s just too much.

  34. xyz says:

    Who would be the target audience for this?

  35. Bark Star says:

    Is it not enough that you dumbed the show down for the masses, that you extended it way beyond its past due date and that you corrupted the characters into annoying jerkasses, idiots and walking punchlines ? Now you need to do a spinoff as well ? Let the show die already. This extreme case of necrophilia deserve only one name: Simpsoning !!

  36. mike says:

    This is going to fail…HARD. Part of what makes it work now is the ensemble. Otherwise its just going to be a nerdy loner who gets chased up a tree by a chicken and build a death ray to piss off the dog.

    Epic fail. and an F for lack of originality

  37. jp says:

    I like it – stories of him as a kid have been funny so why not fashion a show around him. If done right it could be good. The writing will be key. Shows like Big Bang and Modern Family have great ones and the scripts and actors gel well.

  38. Collette says:

    They don’t say how “young” of a Sheldon. 6? 8? !2? That could be the key to whether or not this flies.

  39. E. D. Boddy says:

    They know as soon as they do anything that’s not consistent with established facts and continuity, viewers are going to go ape-shi!t, right?

    • Piers says:

      Maybe, but It’s always surprised me that fans of the show haven’t complained about all of the blatant impossibilities on the show. We nerds and geeks have problems with the fact that they bought the couch from the exiting tenants on the first floor when there are no tenants on the first floor. Also there’s the issue of Penny’s apartment ostensibly overhanging the street, there are only two apartments per floor yet there are 16 mailboxes, and the guys apartment has only a closet behind their living room while Penny’s has a bedroom and bath. And finally her apartment stops at the camera wall, but the guys’ has a long hall with two bedrooms in that direction and their office area overlooks another street. How’s that possible? Makes my brain itch.

  40. Seriously? says:

    No.

  41. Mary says:

    I love the BB but it has already been set up that a young Sheldon…. had no friends, an alcoholic father, a sister who beat him up for fun and schoolmates who teased and bullied him. A flash back episode might be fun but I’m with most others…. the show is good because of the complete cast. Although I love Sheldon, he wouldn’t be the same without the rest of the crew. They bounce off each other in a way that only comes once in a TV while. They just all click…. I hope the show goes on for several more years.

  42. VERONICA mehr says:

    I would definitely watch the show.

  43. Pam Hill says:

    Love Sheldon…I’m sure he would be just as funny and entertaining young as he is as an adult. Bring him on!!!

  44. Royce says:

    No, it won’t work. Revisiting the past with the future firmly fixed in place will leave too many opportunities for things not to fit. It will be like looking inside the characters head and none of Sheldon fans will be able to stand it. You are asking too much of us. We can’t go back. Don’t do it, even if it’s good it will be horrible. Possibly a Howard and Burnette with their baby growing up to be something like sheldon………it’s just a minor script adjustment and leaves far more maneuvering room. No expectations. Trust me, it’s far better that way, plus the old cast can still come on whenever. Or……..kill the whole thing and get the cast members separate movie deals.

  45. Mauricecia jones says:

    Yes I’d watch. It would be interesting to see how Sheldon became Sheldon and see his mom/dad &memaw also those stories he tells like being chased up a tree by a chicken.

  46. Jerry says:

    Sheldon is Sheldon! Period. I don’t think anyone could pull off a believable young Sheldon, so while it might be entertaining, it just wouldn’t be believable.

  47. Aylianna Littlefeather says:

    First I have to say TBBT is one of my most favorite shows on television. I watch all the reruns and look forward to the new shows. That being said, with Sheldon being SO annoying as an adult, how much MORE annoying would he have been at a younger age? At maybe two or three, he might have been cute but as he reached ages between 7 and puberty, one might be tempted to strangle him or perhaps dangle him by his lips from a balcony to keep him from running on about how much smarter he is than others around him.