CBS has skipped the pilot stage for its “Big Bang Theory” spinoff “Young Sheldon” and is going straight to series with the show.
The network announced Monday that the series — which will go back in time to when Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons’ character on “The Big Bang Theory,” was 9 years old — will have a spot on the 2017-18 schedule. It’s the first pickup of a new show for CBS this development season.
Iain Armitage, currently on HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” will play the title character. Parsons will serve as the narrator on the show and is also an executive producer.
“Big Bang” co-creator Chuck Lorre and current showrunner Steven Molaro are credited as creators on “Young Sheldon” and will executive produce with Parsons and Todd Spiewak. The cast includes Zoe Perry (“The Family”) as Sheldon’s mother (Perry’s real-life mom, Laurie Metcalf, plays Sheldon’s mother on “Big Bang”), Lance Barber (“The Comeback”) as his dad and Raegan Revord and Montana Jordan as his sister and brother.
Unlike “The Big Bang Theory,” the current standard-bearer for multi-camera sitcoms, “Young Sheldon” will be a single-camera show. The network is reportedly aiming for something akin to “Malcolm in the Middle” in terms of tone. (CBS’ only single-camera comedy at the moment is “Life in Pieces.”) Jon Favreau will direct and serve as an exec producer on the first episode.
“The Big Bang Theory” has yet to be renewed for 2017-18, but negotiations have apparently been proceeding pretty well: CBS CEO Les Moonves told an investor conference last week that a potential two-season renewal is “on the 2-yard line.”
“Young Sheldon” joins these shows in earning straight-to-series orders for 2017-18.