Young Sheldon could end after season 7, but it doesn’t need to because CBS can continue it beyond that. Thanks to The Big Bang Theory was already on the air for a decade and had become an iconic sitcom when CBS decided to expand the universe and greenlight a prequel. Functioning as an origins story for Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon Cooper, it tackles his childhood in Medford, Texas, living with the rest of his family. The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon aired back-to-back for two years, giving CBS a successful Thursday primetime block.
Almost four years since The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019, Young Sheldon has established itself as a great comedy. It is TV’s # 1 comedy, averaging 9.3 million total viewers and a 0.9 demo rating. Since they exist in the same universe, Young Sheldon has explained several TBBT storylines but has also created several plot holes throughout its run. Regardless of CBS’ approach to continuity, however, it’s clear that the prequel is reaching its natural ending based on what was revealed in the flagship series. That being said, there are ways to continue Young Sheldon beyond season 7.
Young Sheldon Has Outgrown Its Premise
Debuting in 2017, Young Sheldon is already towards the end of its season 6 run. When it started, both Sheldon and Missy were nine years old, and it primarily revolved around the boy genius. Over the years, however, it has diversified its storytelling, focusing more on the rest of the Cooper family. After a few years of that storytelling approach, it has become evident that it has outgrown its premise in more ways than one.
For starters, Sheldon is no longer “young” in the show. He’s 13 years old in Young Sheldon season 6 and is in college, which often isolates him from the rest of his family. This makes it challenging to integrate him into whatever happens back in Medford when he’s now even spending some nights at East Texas Tech. Secondly, Young Sheldon is no longer just about him. Despite having a titular character, the comedy has transformed to become an ensemble series. For example, Georgie and Mandy’s pregnancy arc is arguably much more interesting than Sheldon’s grant database endeavor. The same could be said with George and Mary’s crumbling marriage.
Young Sheldon Can Shift Its Focus To The Rest Of The Coopers
Young Sheldon diversifying its storytelling is arguably the best thing it did because it’s the primary reason why it can continue beyond its pre-determined end. According to The Big Bang Theory’s timeline, Sheldon moved from Texas to Pasadena to begin his graduate studies at CalTech University when he was 14. If CBS is going to simply stick to the original premise of the prequel, then that should effectively end the show, and it’s why conversations are happening if this is the best option. That being said, they have other options that allow Young Sheldon to honor the established continuity while continuing beyond that point.
Since Sheldon is no longer the central character of the series, and there’s already enough interest in the rest of the Cooper family, CBS can just spin it off to a show that focuses on the rest of the clan. So The Big Bang Theory prequel can move forward with Sheldon’s relocation to California, but the narrative continues in Medford. Granted that George’s Young Sheldon absence will also be felt since he would have died around the same time, the show can reveal how the rest of the Coopers dealt with that. Meanwhile, Georgie’s journey to becoming the successful owner of Dr. Tire and Missy’s teenage adventures can also be tackled.
Young Sheldon Season 7 Finale Means It Will Have A Sad Ending
Considering what’s happening in season 6, ending Young Sheldon after season 7 is also unwise. Given the established timeline, the show is set up for a downer finale. Since Sheldon’s George’s cheating storyline is confirmed not to happen in Young Sheldon season 6, this traumatic incident AND George’s subsequent death will both have to go down next year. That’s two tragedies in one year; it would weigh down the series. Despite tackling more serious narratives like Paige’s troubles and Georgie’s unexpected pregnancy arc, Tackling George’s affair and demise in a span of a few months will be too much.
After Young Sheldon fixed a TBBT plot hole about George’s affair, it will likely happen in season 7. However, instead of rushing the following series of events, it could fully tackle its ramifications on Sheldon’s relationship with his dad until he relocates to California. Then, save George’s death in the potential season 8 just to space out these big changes. This would allow Young Sheldon to balance things out with lighter narratives. After all, it’s still a family comedy/drama. Perhaps the series can show more of baby Constance and the rekindling of Mandy and Georgie’s romance. Missy can have some fun plotlines as well.
Will Young Sheldon Really End With Season 7?
As previously mentioned, Young Sheldon is currently TV’s #1 comedy. From CBS’ perspective, they will understandably want to keep it on the air for as long as possible. If it needs any more motivation, season 6 recorded show-high ratings. Between that and Young Sheldon proving it doesn’t rely on Sheldon anymore, CBS has a clear path to continue capitalizing on the family comedy’s increasing popularity.
Now, while the network will undoubtedly be open to almost everything just to keep the series on the air, its creatives also have a say. This means that Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro, and Jim Parsons, among others, will have to decide the best way to approach the situation, especially in relation to The Big Bang Theory‘s legacy, which they all worked on. Of course, the cast’s input is also integral, but most of them have expressed their desire to continue doing Young Sheldon for as long as possible. So chances are that they will be all for moving beyond season 7.
Young Sheldon season 6 airs Thursdays on CBS.
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