The popular sitcom regularly draws 14m live viewers per episode when it airs in the US
While The Big Bang Theory is to comedy fans what Marmite is to palates, there is no denying that the Chuck Lorre sitcom is the biggest comedy series on television. Now, 10 seasons and 213 episodes into the show’s science and geek pop culture puns and one-liners, negotiations are underway to launch a spin-off called Sheldon, about the physicist played by four-time Emmy-winning actor Jim Parsons.
While details of the show are only slowly emerging, it is believed to be a Malcolm in the Middle-type prequel to The Big Bang Theory, centred around a 12-year-old child prodigy version of Sheldon Cooper. While the pilot has yet to be even written, it is expected that CBS will order a full season of the show based on the massive ratings draw of The Big Bang Theory and other Chuck Lorre sitcoms.
Sheldon will be set in Galveston, Texas in the 1990s, featuring his fraternal twin sister Missy and his (thus far only mentioned) older brother George. Roseanne star Laurie Metcalf plays Sheldon’s Evangelical Christian mother Mary on the main show, but it is unknown whether she will reprise the role in the spin-off.
The current tenth season of The Big Bang Theory is the last in the series’ three-year contract, with negotiations underway to lock in the cast for another run. The sitcom remains the biggest comedy series on television, averaging 18m viewers per episode. CBS will hope to launch Sheldon with an eleventh season of the original show, but must first secure new deals with The Big Bang Theory’s veteran cast of Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco, who each earn $1m per episode, as well as a share of the show’s massive revenue from global distribution.