Two and a half weeks after handing out a two-season renewal for the Lorre-produced Mom, the network is doing the same for Young Sheldon. The renewal will keep the Big Bang Theory prequel going through season four — and the 2020-2021 broadcast season.
The news arrives as Big Bang Theory — TV’s most-watched scripted comedy and tops in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — will wrap its 12-season run in May. That leaves CBS with a gaping hole on its most important night of the week: Thursday. Young Sheldon — the prequel spinoff series exploring the childhood of Emmy winner Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon Cooper — is considered a lock to take over the all-important Thursdays at 8 p.m. slot. (CBS executives won’t announce their plans until May’s upfront presentations to Madison Avenue ad buyers). In its second season, Young Sheldon averages 14.6 million total viewers and an impressive 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic (with seven days of delayed viewing). The multyear renewal for Young Sheldon follows a pickup pattern similar to Big Bang, which received several similar extensions in its 12-year run.
“Thanks to Chuck Lorre’s and [co-creator/showrunner] Steve Molaro’s outstanding creative leadership, Young Sheldon has been a powerful performer for the network with an audience that towers over most of the television landscape,” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl said Friday in a statement.
Added Thom Sherman, senior exec vp programming: “The Coopers are portrayed by an amazing cast, and we are looking forward to having the gifted writing staff mine even more of Sheldon’s hilarious backstory and the warm family dynamic that has made this comedy a favorite with audiences for the past two seasons.”
Starring Iain Armitage as the title character of the 1990s-set comedy, Young Sheldon‘s cast also features Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord and Annie Potts. Lorre, Molaro, Parsons — who serves as narrator — and Todd Spiewak exec produce the series. The single-camera comedy — a flip of the script from Big Bang — hails from Warner Bros. TV, where Lorre is under an overall deal that ends in June 2020. The pair of renewals help solidify both comedies through the end of Lorre’s deal, as sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that multiple studios and streamers covet the mega-producer behind a handful of multibillion-dollar hits as the overall deal market explodes thanks to free-spending streamers like Netflix, Amazon and upstart Apple.
“We will do shows with Chuck as long as Chuck wants to do shows with us,” Kahl told THR in January. “I can’t speak for him, but I do believe he’s had a very good experience with us and I’d like to think it’s very possible you can enjoy both experiences and take something away from each. I certainly hope he will be in business with us for many years to come. He is the best in the business and a great partner.”
Lorre, for his part, is fresh off a Golden Globe win for best comedy series — his first top award in his prolific career — for Netflix’s Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin entry The Kominsky Method, his second show for the streamer from Warner Bros. TV. He also has a pilot — Bob Hearts Abishola, reuniting him with Mike and Molly star Billy Gardell — in contention this season at CBS.
Young Sheldon joins the final season of Criminal Minds, FBI, God Friended Me, Magnum P.I. and The Neighborhood on CBS’ 2019-2020 broadcast schedule.