Young Sheldon Series Finale Adds Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik; CBS Confirms Spinoff, Shows No Fear of Cooper Family Fatigue

With viewership that peaked at nearly 14 million an episode, Young Sheldon is one of the most successful sitcoms in recent memory.

And the show is spun off from The Big Bang Theory, which, despite never gaining a foothold with critics, was one of the most-watched sitcoms of all time, serving as CBS’ biggest hit for much its 12-season run.

So it comes as no surprise that yet another Sheldon-verse spinoff will be coming to CBS in the very near future.

What is somewhat surprising, however, is the fact that some of the franchise’s biggest stars will be reprising their roles for the upcoming Young Sheldon series finale.

It was announced this week that both Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik will be returning to CBS as Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler.

Parsons is an executive producer on Young Sheldon, and he’s been narrating the series since its first episode.

Bialik previously joined him in a brief voice-over on the show’s fourth season finale, but this time, it seems that both stars will be donning their nerdiest attire for an appearance on camera.

So it’s not as if the actors’ decision to put in cameos on the Young Sheldon finale is a total shock.

But there’s been a perception in recent years that these two share a desire to move on from their Big Bang roles.

Now, it’s worth noting that Parsons was the highest-paid actor on television in 2018, with estimated earnings of $26.5 million.

So he certainly doesn’t bear any grudges toward Chuck Lorre and the other creators behind Big Bang.

But with only one film role and one on-camera TV role in the past four years, it was widely assumed that Parsons had decided to shift his focus to working behind the camera and appearing in the occasional stage production.

Similarly, there was a perception that following the cancelation of her Fox sitcom Call Me Kat, Bialik preferred to focus less on acting and more on expanding her career as a sort of all-around media personality.

Bialik landed a gig as one of the hosts of Jeopardy (a role she would split with Ken Jennings) but was later let go under controversial circumstances.

With two TV passion projects ending in disappointment in the space of a single year, many assumed that Bialik would prefer to focus on her popular podcast for the foreseeable future.

The unexpected cameo news has led to speculation as to whether or not Parsons and Bialik will participate in the upcoming Sheldon spinoff, which will focus on Sheldon’s older brother, Georgie Cooper (Montana Jordan), and Georgie’s girlfriend, Mandy McCallister (Emily Osment).

Rumors about the spinoff have been circulating for months, but CBS just confirmed the project — and the Georgie and Mandy angle — today.

“It has been a privilege to spend the last seven years with Sheldon and the Cooper family and now this wonderful journey will continue with Georgie and Mandy,” CBS Entertainment President Amy Reisenbach said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“Chuck and both Steves have done a masterful job developing these characters and entertaining generations of fans with relatable, heartwarming stories brought to life by Montana and Emily. We eagerly look forward to the next chapter in this beloved universe.”

“From The Big Bang Theory to Young Sheldon, the world of the Cooper family has been incredibly special to us. We’re very excited to continue their stories through the eyes of Georgie and Mandy,” producers Lorre, Steven Molaro, and Steve Holland added.

If we had to guess, we’d say that Parsons will continue to carry an executive producer credit, but that his involvement with the series will end there.

It makes sense, of course, that well-known stars would continue their involvement with the shows that made them famous (or, in Bialik’s case, returned her to the spotlight after a lengthy hiatus).

After all, Parsons has probably been raking in a tidy sum for pretty minimal work with his voice-over and EP work on Sheldon.

But the unwillingness of network execs to cut ties with popular intellectual properties is a much more unsettling trend.

Look, Jordan and Osment have done wonderful work in their roles on Sheldon, and the young stars fully deserve a vehicle of their own.

And there’s certainly nothing new about sitcom spinoffs. Hell, Cheers, spawned three related series, and Happy Days birthed four!

But in the age of NCIS overkill, seven Walking Deads, and 34 seasons of The Simpsons, there’s growing concern that networks are returning to the same wells over and over again simply because they’re afraid to take a gamble on something new.

This aversion to risk is also evident in the cancel-happy tendencies of streamers like Netflix, where the powers that be are notoriously quick to pull the plug on shows that fail to find an audience right out of the gate.

We don’t blame stars like Parsons for helping to legitimize these sequel and prequel projects, especially since there are fewer TV projects from which to choose these days, and networks will offer dump trucks of cash to keep their proven talents on board.

And who knows? Maybe the Mandy and Georgie spinoff will take the Sheldon/BBT franchise to new heights.

We’re just wary about the possibility of a future in which every show that runs for every beloved character will remain on our screens for 12 seasons and three spinoffs, not because there’s more story left to tell, but instead because they’re still profitable.

What do you think, TV fanatics? Are you excited for the continued saga of the Cooper family? Are you experiencing symptoms of spinoff fatigue?

Hit the comments section below to share your thoughts!

Tyler Johnson is an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic and the other Mediavine O&O sites. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and, of course, watching TV. You can Follow him on X and email him here at TV Fanatic.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button