For some reason, CBS won't admit that it is swiftly moving forward with it's The Big Bang Theory prequel spin-off, which is tentatively titled Sheldon. But it is indeed happening. And not only that, they have found their leading man...Er, leading genius boy.
Sheldon will follow the early days of Doctor Sheldon Cooper, giving Jim Parson's iconic sitcom character a backstory and origin. Actor Iain Armitage has been cast as the young Sheldon. He can currently be seen on HBO's Big Little Lies. While that sounds like great casting on CBS' part, the next get for the spin-off is a real coup.
Sheldon's mother Mary Cooper has become a key player in the original Big Bang Theory, with the character played by Rosanne legend Lauri Metcalf. The Sheldon spin-off has actually landed Zoe Perry to play the younger version of the role. Which is pretty neat, considering that Zoe is Metcalf's real-life daughter. It seems like, at least for Mary, CBS is keeping this new sitcom based on the hit property pretty authentic.
Deadline announced this casting news, which CBS and WBTV refuse to comment on at the moment. Negotiations between the two parties for the prequel have been ongoing of for the past four months, which is the reason neither wants to make any kind an official announcement at this time.
Part of the problem stems from the network and the studio finalizing a 2 season pickup for the flagship series, with The Big Bang Theory fully expected to be renewed for Seasons 11 and 12. No details have been released for the Sheldon show, except for its main premise.
Insiders describe the comedy as a spin on Malcolm in the Middle. Unlike the three-camera traditional sitcom format held down by Big Bang, Sheldon will use a single camera narrative. The action will firmly be centered around child prodigy Sheldon at age 10. He will be 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.
Big Bang co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre, executive producer/showrunner Steve Molaro and star Jim Parsons came up with the idea for the prequel spin-off. They took it to producers, who ran with the idea. Co-creator/exec producer of the original, Bill Prady, is expected to be involved in some capacity.
On the Big Bang side of things, CBS is nearing a deal with Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who were both seeking parity as their co-stars net big raises for their return. Cast members Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, who have all been with the show since the first episode, are all expected to sign big deals as they head into the next two seasons of the show.