Big Bang Theory team plans young Sheldon spin-off

Jim Parsons as Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory

by James White |
Published on

Sitcom history is littered with spin-offs that didn't quite work. Even the hugely successful Friends had trouble spawning Joey. So US network CBS will be hoping for more of a Cheers/Frasier-level success as it develops a spin-off from hit nerd friends/neighbours comedy The Big Bang Theory revolving around main character Sheldon.

In a twist, however, it won't feature actor Jim Parsons in the role that has won him a Golden Globe and several Emmys; nor will it see the fastidious genius deciding to move to a different city. The idea is to flash back to Sheldon's youth, growing up a precocious young man in a Texas suburb, where he faces a lack of appreciation for his clear brain power.

The main series, co-created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, has been running for 10 seasons now, and remains a big success for its home network, regularly topping the ratings and earning big money in syndication. But with success comes costs, and a spin-off would allow the creators to provide the series' considerable fan base with something else to watch that doesn't also carry the costs of the cast.

Right now, it's only approaching a script deal with Lorre, Prady and co-writer/current show-runner Steve Molaro attached and Parsons as executive producer, but may yet vanish into limbo. It will be a tough job to find a young actor to channel the singular Sheldonm but there is a cash cow to be milked and you know the network is going to try hard to make this one work...

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