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The Big Bang Theory may be coming to an end in the not-too-distant future, but Sheldon Cooper isn’t going anywhere. CBS has announced a big renewal order for Big Bang spinoff Young Sheldon, and it guarantees that Sheldon’s origin story will continue unfolding for another couple of seasons at least. Young Sheldon has been renewed for Seasons 3 and 4.
Young Sheldon has been a hit for CBS, so the renewal actually doesn’t come as a huge surprise. It currently ranks as the second most-watched comedy on TV this season, and CBS has no reason to be upset about the show that is currently beating it. Young Sheldon comes in behind only The Big Bang Theory, which is actually Young Sheldon’s lead-in. The Big Bang spinoff averages more than 14.5 million viewers per week. Big Bang has also scored a two-season renewal in the past.
Given that the decision to end The Big Bang Theory was reportedly settled by the actors rather than the network -- which understandably would have wanted to keep TV’s #1 comedy on the air for as long as it was delivering -- it makes sense that the network likely wants to lock in Young Sheldon for the foreseeable future. I do have to wonder if Young Sheldon’s ratings will be impacted by the end of Big Bang Theory.
Although Young Sheldon does stand on its own, the huge audience tuning into Big Bang Theory in the earlier slot probably has something to do with the sizable audience sticking around for Young Sheldon. Also, will be people be as invested in Sheldon if they don’t get to watch his story progress in the present as well as in his origin story?
On the flip side, the sudden absence of the Big Bang characters after more than a decade on the air could see viewers missing all things Sheldon Cooper and perhaps even grow Young Sheldon’s audience. They won’t be able to get a Big Bang universe fix anywhere else unless another spinoff comes together sooner rather than later. Young Sheldon could gain in appeal to Big Bang Theory viewers who maybe haven’t checked it out just yet.
Two more years of Young Sheldon could actually be great for some of CBS’ other shows as well. Just as Young Sheldon has undoubtedly benefited from The Big Bang Theory as a lead-in, whatever follows or even precedes Young Sheldon next season could get a boost. The Sheldon Cooper Bump, perhaps!