Big Bang Theory Spin-Off Pilot Gets Iron Man Director Jon Favreau
CBS today announced the series order of Young Sheldon, a new half-hour, single-camera comedy for broadcast in the 2017-2018 season. Created by Chuck Lorre & Steven Molaro, the series follows The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper at the age of 9, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school. The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons will also narrate the comedy as Adult Sheldon.
Jon Favreau is directing/executive producing the first episode of the series, which stars Iain Armitage as 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper, as well as Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Raegan Revord and Montana Jordan. While Jon Favreau is best known for his work in directing big-budget movies like Iron Man and most recently The Jungle Book, he has directed a number of successful TV pilot before as well. He directed the pilots for NBC shows Revolution and About A Boy, while also directing the series finale episode of NBC's The Office. He also directs the upcoming pilot Orville for creator-star Seth MacFarlane.
Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak will serve as executive producers of the Big Bang Theory prequel series, from Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television. The CBS series will follow Sheldon living in Texas with his twin sister Missy, his older brother George and his devout Evangelical Christian mother Mary. Mary's estranged husband, and Shedlon's father, George Cooper, will be an absentee who is often heard about but seldom seen. He is described as a mean alcoholic. But the sitcom probably won't venture into controversial material when it comes to George's portrayal.
Some of these characters have already been featured on The Big Bang Theory, especially Sheldon's mother Mary, played by Laurie Metcalf. Zoey Perry, who is playing the younger Mary, is actually Laurie Metcalf's real-life daughter. While Sheldon's brother George Jr. and his father George have never been seen on the original series, Courtney Henggeler played Missy in a Season 1 episode Fans also saw Sheldon's grandmother, affectionately known as "Meemaw," in a Season 9 episode, portrayed by June Squibb. Sheldon's grandfather, "Pop-pop," passed away when Sheldon was just five years old, but it's possible we could see "Pop-pop" in flashbacks.
CBS announced last month that it is renewing Big Bang Theory for two more seasons, bringing its run through Season 12, at the very least. It hasn't been confirmed if Season 12 will be its last or not, but that may be the case if the ratings keep slipping. The Season 10 premiere drew in an average of 15.8 million viewers, which was the lowest-rated season premiere since Season 6. It hasn't been announced when production will begin on the Young Sheldon pilot yet, or if there are additional roles that need to be cast for the pilot.