Fall TV Preview

Is Young Sheldon Building to a Big Childhood Tragedy?

In Big Bang Theory‘s seventh season, Jim Parson’s Sheldon off-handedly remarks to Bernadette’s dad that his own father, George Cooper Sr., died when he was just 14 years old. That particular piece of TBBT canon is now under the microscope as CBS readies the launch of Young Sheldon, a prequel spinoff centered on a 9-year-old Sheldon’s upbringing in Texas.

So… is the offshoot building to a Season 5 tragedy in which a teenage Sheldon (Iain Armitage) is left fatherless? Yes and no, according to exec producer Chuck Lorre, who told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, “We’re not going to play fast and loose [with history]. But [Young Sheldon takes place] five years before [George’s death]. And people change and grow and develop, and things happen over the course of many years. And we don’t have to follow an exact timelines. A season doesn’t have to be a year. It could be a couple months. We have a lot of freedom with the backstory.”

Additionally, Adult Sheldon has rarely had a kind word to say about his late father, leaving Big Bang viewers with the impression that he was a heinous human being. “We’re going to show that there’s a great deal more to the man than we discussed [on Big Bang Theory],” maintains Lorre.

Young Sheldon bows Sept. 25 at 8:30/7:30, immediately following the Season 11 premiere of The Big Bang Theory.

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  1. Can’t forget the origin of why Sheldon knocks three times.

  2. Yes, I am one of many who wondered just what his father was like … thank you all for finally coming up with the idea of making a spinoff of him as a child!

    • Chris says:

      But the character can’t grow beyond being awkward and socially stunted, so what is there for a plot except jokes about him being a nerd and getting picked on. I think this is a Terrible idea for a show and after high ratings in week one will drop off very quickly until cancelled after the first 13.

      • Nathan says:

        You’ve seen it already?? Is it better than the og show?

        • Chris says:

          I haven’t seen it, and I’ll give it a shot when it’s on becuase I love Big Bang, I just don’t see a sustainable funny show in young Sheldon.

      • Daniel says:

        If Sheldon is insufferable as an adult, wouldn’t he have been even more obsessive and annoying as a child? He has never been very helpful to others as an adult, so he’s certainly not going to gain the friendship of the kids in school by being aloof and condescending.

        The whole ‘Sheldon’s is the center of a world of his own and oblivious to the wants and needs of others’ thing has run its course and it’s really time for less Sheldon, not more.

        I have never understood how he could observe ‘normal people’ and not mimic their behavior, even if he didn’t understand the motivation or logic behind it.

        • Ben says:

          Sheldon has Asperger’s which is on the Autism disorder scale. He does not see that he is being condescending; he thinks he is being helpful. It wasn’t until Penny and Amy that he started seeing himself for what he was.

      • psicomenace says:

        Maybe something more focused on his family, his sister and brothers, even his mom and of course now we know his father, he could be just a vehicle to develop all the other chracters or even just eventual comedic relief, after all he has have enough development in TBBT.

        • kjmontana says:

          The trailer for Young Sheldon is on YouTube. I watched it and the characters they are presenting are not the same characters portrayed on TBBT. Sheldon’s mom is supposed to be a fundamentalist Christian and his father a red neck alcoholic that drinks and drives, cheats on his wife , and watches football incessantly -the parents who made Sheldon Cooper the neurotic mess that he is. Suffice it to say that’s not the direction it seems Young Sheldon is headed. Think “The Goldbergs” with a Texas twang. I don’t see this show lasting more than a season.

  3. Alice Watson says:

    A season can last a couple of months but kids don’t stop growing during the season and on hiatus – I think we’re going to notice if the show is successful and they reach Season Three but little Iain is 6 inches taller and still playing a 9 year old. They’re either going to have to be very careful with how time passes to even that out or they’re going to be forced re-casting to keep the character a certain age (or third choice, they’ll treat the audience like idiots and make us pretend he’s not growing before our eyes and can still pass as 9 when he needs a shave).

  4. Harvey says:

    “A season doesn’t have to be a year. ”

    Except that the child actor is getting bigger by the day at that age. Can’t wait around too long.

  5. Brennan says:

    Actually, they have a child actor so they can NOT have a season only be a couple months or they’re gonna have to do a big time jump when this kid hits puberty.

  6. kate says:

    That’s not the total origin story we have heard from Sheldon. I mean, there is also the fact that even after his parents split up, Sheldon has stories about his father’s girlfriend meaning he was still actively in his life

  7. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    Kids grow very quickly. Can keep him at 9 or 10 much past the second season (assuming it makes it that far). Based on the commercials so far, I’m not sure about long-term prospects.

  8. jericho says:

    The show itself is a tragedy. It won’t be the death of his father in season 5 that’s the tragedy, it will be the fact that the American people watched the show enough to give it 5 seasons while inventive and interesting shows get canned after 5 episodes.

  9. AngieD says:

    I’ll probably try watching this show, but it may be hard to get past the stereo types that grown up Sheldon mentions. Sheldon’s sister was in an episode during an earlier season (either 1 or 2) and was portrayed as pretty and smart – however later episodes, Sheldon speaks of his sister and brother as stereotypical redneck. Sheldon’s father is also spoken of as a redneck type of guy. So, i don’t know if I’d find this show to be interesting unless we find out that it is a matter of Sheldon’s viewpoint vs reality [that they aren’t really dumb, but that Sheldon is just too much of a savant to relate]

    • feistyhippie says:

      Which is the area they’re gonna have to mine HARD. They do well with it on BBT – life is kind of awesome, Sheldon can’t figure it out, he eventually mostly does, hijinks ensue. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s kept them all gainfully employed for 10 years so far, may as well keep workin’ it.

  10. steven says:

    I wonder if they’ll include Sheldon at the Star Trek Convention that Wil Wheaton didn’t show up at which caused Sheldon to hate him.

  11. Cynthia potter says:

    I can hardly wait to see Sheldon as a kid. I’m just catching up with the Big Bang show to begin with. Most tv sitcoms are so stupid, it took some time for my sister to convince me to watch. I’m hooked on all the characters. I have never anticipated an upcoming show like I have young Sheldon.

  12. Brian Kyle says:

    I don’t watch the TBBT, but in a preview for Young Sheldon he mentions a twin sister, as she ever been brought up in conversation/ or been on TBBT