The universe of Young Sheldon will expand dramatically next week as the CBS comedy pays homage to its departing mothership.
TVLine has learned exclusively that Young Sheldon‘s Season 2 finale — which is set to air May 16 at 9/8c, immediately following the one-hour series finale of The Big Bang Theory — will feature younger versions of Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette. A CBS rep confirms that miniature versions Sheldon’s future squad, played on Big Bang by Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, will cross over as both a tribute to Big Bang and as part of a Young Sheldon storyline.
It’s not clear exactly how the gang will figure into the episode, but considering Sheldon doesn’t meet the sextet until adulthood it seems unlikely that they would find themselves in Young Sheldon’s immediate Texas orbit. Another unknown: The identity of the child actors portraying the youngsters (Side note: Yes, this is the “surprise/unthinkable” crossover teased in our May Sweeps Scorecard.)
Earlier this season, the Big Bang and Young Sheldon worlds collided on the former series when Iain Armitage made a guest appearance ‘opposite’ Jim Parson’s Adult Sheldon, who laid eyes on his younger self via a VHS tape.
As we previously teased, next Thursday’s Big Bang finale — which taped last week — pays off several long-running storylines and boasts a gasp-worthy cameo. What it doesn’t feature is any sort of setup for a second spinoff. Series creator Chuck Lorre explained to TVLine that a solid spinoff idea simply failed to materialize. “Unless there was a creative reason to do it — a wonderfully, wonderfully creative reason to do it — than the only reason [to do it] is economics, and that’s not good enough,” he maintained to TVLine. “This is hard work. And if you’re going to do it, you gotta love what you’re doing; you’ve gotta be passionate about it. And if you’re just chasing money, that’s not enough.”