Spin-off programmes seldom attract the same attention as the Big Bang Theory prequel Young Sheldon, which is ending after seven seasons.
Young Sheldon follows a younger version of Jim Parsons’ character from the successful comedy, this time portrayed by Iain Armitage, as he navigated being a child genius in a fictitious Texas town.
Young Sheldon, which premiered in 2017, earned the National Television Award for Comedy earlier this year, as well as other nominations throughout its duration.
The Big Bang Theory concluded two years later, with its 12th season airing to a declining – but still remarkable – audience, with certain moments not aged well.
Iain began playing young Sheldon when he was nine years old, and fans have had an emotional rollercoaster seeing him develop into a teenager in front of them.
Iain, at 15, is probably ready to say goodbye to the programme, as CBS confirmed that the upcoming season, which will broadcast in February 2024, will be the final.
The sitcom has often been compared to its big brother – or should we say elder self – The Big Bang Theory, which has been chastised for not aged properly in sections.
Jim, the og Sheldon, even delivers the series’ voiceover narration, which many think is better than the original.
Despite its fairly cringe-worthy reputation, Young Sheldon established its own fanbase and carved out its own niche in the crowded comedy industry.
Viewers took to X – formerly Twitter – to lament over the loss, as one cried: ‘I’m actually so devastated I love this show with all my heart.’
Another shared: ‘There’s a lot of snobbery about this sitcom, but the cast are exceptionally good, and the explorations of faith, marriage, community, and sibling dynamics are truly excellent. There’s so much good writing in it, much more so than TBBT.’
‘I got a confession I really like Young Sheldon, I think it’s a great show,’ said a third.
‘You can’t take away my 3-hour TikTok binges of Young Sheldon clips, you simply can’t do this to me,’ said someone else, which seemed to be a universal experience for the For You Pages of casual viewers.
Some fans were reminded that Sheldon’s father dies when he is 14, as the youngster would be in this last season, setting the stage for a heartbreaking conclusion.
Others weren’t so happy to hear the announcement, as despite positive reviews, the show is viewed as a needless spin-off from a divisive series.
Clearly not a viewer, someone else asked: ‘This didn’t end 5 years ago??’
‘And then he realised… he was an longer a Young Sheldon … he was a big bang theory… *sniff*,’ laughed another less sympathetic voice.
Some people joked about a sequel in which Sheldon is in his 30s and surrounded by his ‘nerdy buddies,’ or a ‘old’ Sheldon spin-off.
‘Do you think it’ll end with Sheldon saying “bazinga” before cutting to black,’ asked one person referencing the character’s catchphrase.
Another simply said: ‘Unrelated but this is exactly what I imagine Kurt Hummel looked like as a kid.’
Don’t be too disappointed, Young Sheldon fans, since co-creator Chuck Lorre has announced that another programme in the Big Bang world is in the works – perhaps we’ll get ‘Old Sheldon’ after all.
Young Sheldon’s final season will begin in February, 2024, to watch on E4 or stream on Channel 4.