Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that Young Sheldon is an upcoming spin-off of Big Bang Theory. Naturally, it will be centered around a 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper as he attends school in the state of Texas, while Jim Parsons, who plays the adult Sheldon Cooper, will serve as the narrator for the events of the spin-off. Other characters that have been confirmed for Young Sheldon range from both of Sheldon’s parents to the character’s twin sister as well as the character’s older brother.
Why Is Young Sheldon Happening?
The reasons why Young Sheldon is happening are simple and straightforward. After all, it has been confirmed that Big Bang Theory will run for at least 12 seasons, which is far past the point when it can still be considered just a sitcom that has found its stride. To support this claim, three cast members are said to earn a $1 million per episode, the cast members’ contract disputes have started becoming public, and the sitcom’s basic premise of a group of young geeks being friends is crumbling when two of its core cast members are in their 40s. All of these examples are common signs that a sitcom is coming to a close for excellent reason.
However, it is important to note that Big Bang Theory remains extremely successful. As a result, it is natural for the people behind it to make an attempt to expand its influence while also making fallback plans for the future by creating a spin-off. Since using one of the core cast members as they are would run into much the same problems as the parent TV show, it makes sense for them to dial back the timeline, particularly since that will come with a bonus in the form of nostalgia for a bygone time that might convince some viewers to give the spin-off a chance that they wouldn’t extend under other circumstances.
Will Young Sheldon Prove Successful?
At this moment, there is no way to tell whether Young Sheldon will prove to be successful or not. On the one hand, nothing is being left to chance, as shown by the extensive involvement of the executive producers of Big Bang Theory as well as famed director Jon Favreau, who will be directing the first episode. On the other hand, even the basic concept of the spin-off is a huge risk. Never mind all of the other potential pitfalls that come with spin-offs as a whole.
Young Sheldon will either succeed or fail based on a child character. As a result, it is going to have to beat the odds if it wants to hold onto an adult audience, who tend to have more problems relating to a child character compared to their adult or even teenage counterparts for obvious reasons. Furthermore, the reception to the child character will be reliant in enormous part on the acting abilities of a child actor, who will be put under even more enormous pressure than under normal circumstances because of the central role of his character. Finally, Young Sheldon has no natural arc like say, how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman for Better Call Saul, meaning that it will either have to come up with one or remain reliant on constant shenanigans, which is not exactly a recipe for sustainability in the long run.
Summed up, it is possible that all of the time, effort, and other resources being poured into Young Sheldon will pay off in the form of a surprise hit, but it will be exactly that, a surprise hit. By its fundamental nature, Young Sheldon is a huge risk, though the popularity of its parent TV show means that its reception might not be a foregone conclusion. At this point, all that the viewers can do is to wait and see.