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Young Sheldon is a American comedy television series that serves as a prequel to the popular show The Big Bang Theory. The show premiered in 2017 and follows the childhood adventures of Sheldon Cooper, the eccentric and highly intelligent physicist portrayed by Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory. Young Sheldon takes viewers back to Sheldon's formative years in the 1980s, offering a heartwarming and humorous glimpse into his life as a prodigious child growing up in East Texas.
The central character, Sheldon Cooper, is brilliantly portrayed by Iain Armitage. Armitage captures the essence of young Sheldon's unique personality, showcasing his exceptional intellect, social awkwardness, and strict adherence to routines and rules. The young Sheldon is known for his blunt honesty, lack of understanding of sarcasm, and unwavering commitment to logic and science, all of which lead to countless amusing situations.
The show also features an ensemble cast that brings depth and humour. Zoe Perry portrays Mary Cooper, Sheldon's loving and religious mother. Lance Barber portrays Sheldon's father, George Cooper Sr. Annie Potts takes on the role of Sheldon's sassy and no-nonsense grandmother, Meemaw. Montana Jordan portrays Sheldon's older brother, Georgie. Raegan Revord plays Sheldon's twin sister, Missy, showcasing their bond despite their contrasting personalities.
Our Young Sheldon facts include which Big Bang Theory cast members made appearances in the prequel, who initially proposed the idea and why it has been recognised for Gender Equality.
1. Jim Parsons Is The Narrator Of Young Sheldon
Young Sheldon was created by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro for CBS and the show serves as a prequel and spin-off to the popular series The Big Bang Theory. Jim Parsons, who portrays the adult Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, serves as the narrator of the series and is an executive producer as well.
2. Jim Parsons Proposed The Idea For Young Sheldon
The concept for the prequel series was initially proposed by Parsons and was developed further by the producers of The Big Bang Theory in November 2016. In the following March, Iain Armitage and Zoe Perry were chosen for the lead roles, and CBS gave the green light for the series. Young Sheldon premiered with a special preview on September 25, 2017, and subsequently received a full season order, with regular weekly episodes airing from November 2, 2017. The show's popularity led to CBS renewing it for a seventh season in March 2021, ensuring its continuation.
3. Young Sheldon Has Been Compared To Malcolm In The Middle
The proposed prequel, described as a single-camera family comedy akin to Malcolm in the Middle, would be helmed by Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro, both of whom were involved in The Big Bang Theory.
Bill Prady, the co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, was also expected to have a role in the project. The plan was for the show to air in the 2017-18 season alongside The Big Bang Theory.
4. Young Sheldon’s Pilot Was Executive Produced By Jon Favreau
The pilot episode was directed and executive produced by Jon Favreau. In addition to Parsons, Lorre, Molaro, and Todd Spiewak also served as executive producers for Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Television. CBS gave Young Sheldon a full season order of 22 episodes on September 27, 2017. The show was subsequently renewed for a second season on January 6, 2018, and premiered on September 24 of the same year.
5. The COVID19 Pandemic Interrupted Filming For Season Three
CBS renewed Young Sheldon for both a third and fourth season on February 22, 2019. The third season premiered on September 26, 2019, but faced production disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in only 21 episodes being completed. Production for the fourth season commenced on September 22, 2020, but experienced a one-day pause on October 9, 2020, due to a positive COVID-19 test. The fourth season premiered on November 5, 2020, and concluded its production on March 15, 2021.
6. Sheldon’s Mothers Are Played By A Mother And Daughter Team
Zoe Perry, who plays Mary Cooper in Young Sheldon, is the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who plays Mary Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
7. Lance Barber Was Hired As George After One Guest Appearance
Lance Barber was cast as George Cooper Sr., Sheldon's father, after previously appearing in a single episode of The Big Bang Theory.
8. Mayim Bialik Also Stars In Young Sheldon
In the Season 4 episode "Graduation," Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy, the adult Sheldon's wife, has a brief voice-over role as Sheldon describes their son Leonard's graduation party. Leonard is revealed to be named after Leonard Hofstadter and Leonard Nimoy.
9. Bob Newhart Plays Professor Proton In Both Young Sheldon And TBBT
Bob Newhart also appears as Professor Proton in both series, with his appearance in Young Sheldon portraying a younger version of the character.
10. Young Sheldon, Georgie and George Appear In The Big Bang Theory
Iain Armitage (Sheldon), Lance Barber (George), and Montana Jordan (Georgie) make a guest appearance in the parent series, The Big Bang Theory, in a scene where a VHS tape recorded decades earlier is played.
11. Kaley Cuoco Makes An Uncredited Voice Appearance In Young Sheldon
Kaley Cuoco, who stars in The Big Bang Theory and makes an uncredited voice appearance in Young Sheldon, voicing an inanimate object.
12. Elon Musk Stars In Young Sheldon And The Big Bang Theory
Elon Musk also has cameos as himself in both series, appearing in Season 1, Episode 6 of Young Sheldon.
13. The Season 2 Finale Has Many Special References To The Parent Show Finale
The second-season finale episode of Young Sheldon aired immediately after the one-hour series finale of The Big Bang Theory. As a tribute to the parent series, several references are made to it in the Young Sheldon episode. These references include both general nods to the entire parent series and specific references to its finale.
In one scene, Young Sheldon promises his father that when he wins the Nobel Prize, he will mention him in his acceptance speech. This mirrors the parent series finale where Sheldon does win the Nobel Prize and mentions his father (among others) in his acceptance speech.
Another scene features a montage announcing Nobel Prize winners, showcasing the main characters from The Big Bang Theory - Leonard, Penny, Raj, Howard, Bernadette, and Amy - as children.
Christine Baranski and Carol Ann Susi, who portray Leonard's mother and Howard's mother in the parent series, make voice appearances in the montage (with Susi's appearance being posthumous).
Following the montage, adult Sheldon reflects on his previous belief that he would be alone for the rest of his life, acknowledging that he was wrong in light of the Nobel prize announcement.
14. Mighty Little Man Is A Song From Steve Burns
The Young Sheldon opening sequence features the song "Mighty Little Man" by Steve Burns, taken from his 2003 album Songs for Dustmites. In the first two seasons, the background depicts mountains and a desert, despite the show being set in East Texas, which is known for its lush greenery and absence of mountains or tumbleweeds. In the foreground, Sheldon, usually sporting a bow tie, checked shirt, shorts, and cowboy boots, walks out and stands triumphantly. He then notices either a cow or occasionally a tumbleweed, prompting him to back away before returning to his triumphant pose as the logo appears and tilts towards the sky.
15. The Season 3 Titles Show The Whole Cooper Family
Starting from Young Sheldon Season 3, the title sequence underwent a change. It now showcases the entire Cooper family and features different costumes for Sheldon, including portrayals of Albert Einstein, Mr. Spock, The Flash, an astronaut, and a train engineer. In Season 5, a black bull replaces the cow in the sequence.
16. Young Sheldon Has A 76% Approval Rating On Rotten Tomatoes
In its first season, Young Sheldon received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 76% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.6/10 based on 46 reviews.
The website's consensus states, "Young Sheldon's appealing cast and relatable themes bring a fresh—and overall enjoyable—perspective to its central character's familiar story."
17. Young Sheldon Has Been Rewarded For Gender Equality
During the fourth season, Young Sheldon was among the 101 out of the 200 most popular scripted television series to receive the ReFrame Stamp for the years 2020 to 2021. The ReFrame Stamp is awarded by the gender equity coalition ReFrame and industry database IMDbPro. It recognizes film and television projects that demonstrate gender-balanced hiring practices. To earn the stamp, projects must prioritise the hiring of female-identifying individuals, particularly women of colour, in at least four out of eight key production roles.
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