CBS has given a full season order to new comedy series Young Sheldon, which premiered Monday night, Sept. 25. Young Sheldon was the most watched comedy premiere on any network since 2011, averaging 17.21 million viewers, and 3.8 in adults 18-49, the highest rating for any new comedy since 2013. In addition, it retained 98% of its The Big Bang Theory viewer lead-in, 93% in adults 18-49 and 95% in adults 25-54, the best retention percentages for any new comedy following an original episode of The Big Bang Theory.
For 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage), it isn't easy growing up in East Texas. Being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn't always helpful in a land where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. Following its special Monday night broadcast this week, Young Sheldon now moves to its regular time period on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 8:30 PM, following The Big Bang Theory, on CBS.
The Big Bang Theory's multiple Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons narrates as Adult Sheldon. This single-camera, half-hour comedy gives us the chance to meet Sheldon in childhood, as he embarks on his innocent, awkward and hopeful journey toward the man he will become. The cast also includes Lance Barber as George Sr., Montana Jordan as Georgie Jr., Raegan Revord as Missy and Zoe Perry as Mary. Along with Sheldon, some of these characters have been featured on The Big Bang Theory before, while some fans are seeing for the first time. The Missy character, Sheldon's sister, was previously played by Courtney Henggeler in a Season 1 episode, while Mary, Shedlon's mother, is played by Laurie Metcalf throughout the show's run.
While fans will have to wait a few weeks for Young Sheldon to return, executive producer Chuck Lorre, who co-created both The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon with Bill Prady, recently teased more about the show's timeline. During an interview last month, Chuck Lorre confirmed that the series begins five years before the death of Sheldons' dad, George Sr., played by Lance Barber. He added that they don't have to follow the "exact timelines" of the original series, although they don't necessarily plan to play "fast and loose" with the history that was already established in The Big Bang Theory.
Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro created the series and executive produce along with Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak for Warner Bros. Television. Jon Favreau directed the pilot. CBS announced last month that it is renewing Big Bang Theory for two more seasons, bringing its run through Season 12, although whether it continues beyond that is unclear. 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, although Monday's Season 11 premiere drew in a 3.9 rating and 17 million viewers.