Does New TBBT Spin-off Announcement Spell Doom for Young Sheldon?

Does New TBBT Spin-off Announcement Spell Doom for Young Sheldon?
Image credit: CBS

Not necessarily.

Rumours have been going around for some time now that Young Sheldon is on its way out. Every show has a shelf life and, in this case more than some others, there is a definite end time to Sheldon's life in Texas.

So, does the announcement of a new TBBT spin-off show mean that Young Sheldon is definitely nearing its finale?

Not necessarily. You only have to look at the Star Wars franchise to see that it's perfectly possible to have several spin-offs that are distinct from one another but remain true to their origins.

Now, I'm not suggesting for a moment that The Big Bang Theory has as much scope for broadening out as the entire Star Wars universe. But one thing that Young Sheldon has shown us is that it's possible to take what is essentially a massively popular comedy show and use a spin-off to add layers to characters that weren't there in the original. And to be fair, it would have been wasted in it.

What we saw in the first TBBT spin-off is that the writers and showrunners have both the willingness and ability to push the boundaries and explore some slightly darker topics against the backdrop of a sitcom.

They've also been able to reframe adult Sheldon by explaining more about his childhood experiences while, for the most part, not conflicting the two eras of one character.

Does New TBBT Spin-off Announcement Spell Doom for Young Sheldon? - image 1

And the popularity of the show – along with the vast amount of fandom chat surrounding Paige's spiralling behaviour, and the question of infidelity on the part of both of Sheldon's parents – is evidence that there is an appetite for what they're offering.

Of course, we don't yet have any fine idea of what the new spin-off will be or which characters it will feature. But it seems likely that rather than the announcement spelling doom for Young Sheldon, the opposite is true.

Young Sheldon is nearing its natural end – just as The Big Bang Theory did before it. Yet the popularity of the franchise lives on. So, it's more probable that the nearing end of Young Sheldon has prompted the network to decide that something else needs to replace it.

Sure, viewers love a rerun – and Young Sheldon is definitely a show that will be played on repeat for years to come. But TV – and in particular major franchises – are all about supply and demand. If the audience is there for a show, a network will make it.