You didn’t think CBS would revive The Big Bang Theory THAT fast, did you?
Mere minutes after the CBS smash signed off for good on Thursday, the gang reappeared in the season finale of Young Sheldon. As previously reported by TVLine, the spinoff ended its second season by featuring younger versions of Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette, the characters originated on Big Bang by Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. Viewers briefly glimpsed Young Leonard, Young Penny, Young Howard, Young Raj, Young Amy and Young Bernadette in their respective orbits (see attached gallery for photos, and scroll down for video).
As Young Sheldon showrunner Steve Molaro explains, the one-time stunt served a dual purpose. “It’s such a tremendous night for Big Bang Theory,” he explains, “we were hopeful to find a way to somehow make it feel like a cohesive [night of programming] and, more importantly, pay homage to Big Bang, which was ending and which was the birthplace of Young Sheldon. And this was, hopefully, a way we were able to achieve that.”
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The fact that Sheldon doesn’t actually meet Leonard, Penny and Co. until adulthood precluded little Sheldon from actually interacting with the miniature versions of his future pals. As a result, the gang’s visit doesn’t penetrate the series’ narrative in any “deep” way, Molaro allows. “But I do think it is a moving and powerful ending for Young Sheldon that is, at the same time, a love letter to Big Bang Theory.”