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CBS already had the biggest comedy on television with The Big Bang Theory, and the network debuted a brand new series all about one of the key Big Bang Theory characters. Young Sheldon premiered on September 25, and CBS already has some good news about the new series. Young Sheldon has received a full season order from CBS.
The odds were always good that Young Sheldon would last at least one season, given its connection to the juggernaut that is The Big Bang Theory. Still, the ratings for the series premiere were solid enough that we can bet it would have gotten some good news from the network even if it had no connection to Big Bang Theory. Young Sheldon's first episode was the most-watched comedy premiere on any network since 2011, with 17.21 million people tuning in. The premiere also scored the highest rating for any new comedy since back in 2013, with a 3.8 in the all-important 18-49 age demographic.
Impressively, the Young Sheldon premiere retained 98% of the Big Bang Theory Season 11 premiere lead-in viewership. Additionally, the episode retained 93% of the Big Bang Theory audience in the 18-49 demographic and 95% in the 25-54 demographic. A lot of Big Bang Theory viewers stuck around for Young Sheldon, which makes sense. Sheldon is arguably the biggest character of The Big Bang Theory, and Jim Parsons is on board the spinoff as narrator.
It has not yet been announced how many episodes will comprise the first season, but the odds are good that there are at least another 20 episodes in the works. Aside from the first season, The Big Bang Theory has run for either 23 or 24 episodes per season . I'm guessing Young Sheldon will get approximately the same order. CBS obviously has faith in the project, as it was ordered straight to series without going through the traditional pilot process and has now been ordered for a full season after only one episode.
We'll have to wait and see how the ratings and viewership perform in the rest of Young Sheldon Season 1. Most series see drops from the series premiere to the second episode, and the same may be true for Young Sheldon. The big question may be how much the show could drop from week to week. Big Bang Theory viewers might have tuned in out of curiosity and convenience, as Young Sheldon debuted in the time slot directly after. The two shows are quite different, despite both featuring versions of the same character. Only time will tell how the numbers change over the coming weeks.