'Young Sheldon' Scores in German Primetime

Sonja Flemming/CBS
'Young Sheldon'

German network ProSieben calls the debut of the 'Big Bang Theory' prequel "the best series start of the century" as more than 3.5 million tune in.

It's unlikely Sheldon Cooper would be surprised.

Young Sheldon, the prequel sitcom to The Big Bang Theory, has gotten off to a strong start in Germany, where Monday's premiere was watched by 3.53 million people, according to local network ProSieben.

The network bowed the new show directly after the season-11 premiere of The Big Bang Theory, and the prequel improved on the original. Big Bang Theory, the number-one U.S. series on German TV, drew 3 million viewers, scoring a 22.6 percent share in the key 14-49 demographic. Young Sheldon pulled in 25.7 percent.

The number-two U.S. series of the night, Hawaii Five-0 on ProSieben's sister channel Sat.1, was a distant second with a 10.2 percent share.

Young Sheldon had a similarly strong debut stateside, where it averaged a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.2 million overall viewers for its Sept. 25 premiere. Young Sheldon was the most-watched comedy premiere in the U.S. since 2011's 2 Broke Girls and the highest-rated since 2013's The Crazy Ones.

ProSieben called the Young Sheldon debut “the best series start of the millennium,” which, while technically true (it is the strongest debut of the 2000s) can also been seen as a bit of understandable hyperbole from a network that has been under fire of late. The Munich-based channel has bet its future on American shows, and while flagships including Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons continue to deliver, it's been a while since ProSieben scored a new imported hit. With its U.S.-heavy lineup, ProSieben has been particularly vulnerable to encroachment by streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have expanded in Germany.

The network's parent company, ProSiebenSat.1, is also the subject of takeover speculation following the surprise announcement by CEO Thomas Ebeling that he will resign in February, a year before his contract is up.

Young Sheldon couldn't have come at a better time.