Young Sheldon boss details biggest change for Big Bang Theory prequel

Young Sheldon: Trailer for season five finale

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Steve Holland and the creators of Young Sheldon had an impossible task when it came to recasting Jim Parsons and bringing the childhood adventures of Sheldon Cooper (played by Iain Armitage) to screen. Thankfully, The Big Bang Theory spin-off has proven a smash hit for CBS, and the executive producer has opened on five years of the sitcom’s success.

The producer explained the show’s growing ensemble cast is one of the biggest changes made to Young Sheldon over the years.

Child actor Iain was cast as the nine-year-old version of theoretical physicist Sheldon when the spin-off began in 2017.

As the series has progressed, viewers have learned much more about the science prodigy’s family than was ever revealed in The Big Bang Theory.

From the beginning, the producers made sure to flesh out the show’s new characters to distinguish Young Sheldon from the original CBS sitcom.

“Young Sheldon had the benefit of having the hook of Big Bang Theory,” Steve explained during a Q&A with The Wrap.

“But it was important for us to not just try to re-do a version of Big Bang Theory, and make this show different.”

Taking place in the 1980s and early 90s, Young Sheldon reveals more about the young science enthusiast’s relationship with his twin sister, Missy (Raegan Revord) and older brother Georgie (Montana Jordan).

Missy and Georgie both made occasional appearances in Big Bang, portrayed by Courtney Henggeler and Jerry O’Connell, as well as his mother Mary (Laurie Metcalf).

However, his father and extended family remained out of the picture until Young Sheldon introduced Lance Barber as George Cooper, in addition to his childhood friends and college professors.

The producer continued: “We’ve always been trying to build it into an ensemble, and I think we’ve gotten to do that as the seasons have gone on.

“And, I think, definitely in season five, now it’s just an ensemble show. Sheldon’s an important part of it, but it’s really about the family and the characters.”

The writers have also been able to tackle more mature storylines as the young cast has steadily gotten older over the years.

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“Honestly, having these kids who were nine when we started… they’ve grown into such good actors,” Steve explained.

“It’s really let us run free with telling more stories. It’s great. In the earlier days, they were great, but they were great kids and you can only do so much with them.

“As they’ve gotten older, not only is there an opportunity for stories, you can tell more interesting stories about a 13-year-old than you can tell about a nine-year-old sometimes.”

Fans have recently seen Sheldon’s rivalry with Paige Swanson (Mckenna Grace) start to blossom into a childhood crush, while Georgie handles his own ordeal with older girlfriend Mandy McAllister (Emily Osment).

“It’s really opened up the world for us,” Steve added. “So it’s really been building this out as an ensemble show, and in this season especially we’ve got to that place.

“We’ve got the main cast, then we’ve got an amazing supporting cast with Wallace Shawn, Ed Begley Jr. and Wendie Malick. It’s a great all-star roster of supporting players.

“So to build out the world in that way, it’s really what we’ve achieved in this season.”

The sitcom spin-off has already been confirmed to return for seasons six and seven, so fans can expect plenty more exciting guest stars and surprising revelations to come.

Young Sheldon is available on CBS in the USA and airs Sundays on E4 in the UK.

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