News recently broke that The Big Bang Theory‘s producers are developing a potential spin-off of the hit comedy that would focus on a younger version of Sheldon Cooper.
Insiders described the project to The Hollywood Reporter as “Malcolm in the Middle but with a young and potentially teenage version of Sheldon.” Presumably, it would be set in Texas, where Sheldon is from, and deal with his struggles growing up as a socially awkward nerd with a very religious mother. It’s being developed as a single-camera sitcom, which would be different than The Big Bang Theory, which is a multi-camera show shot with a very traditional sitcom look.
CBS, The Big Bang Theory’s network, and Warner Bros., the studio producing it, are not speaking publicly about the spin-off at this time. As it’s still in development stages, there are almost no concrete details about what the show would be. Here are some of the things that we think should be in the Sheldon spin-off.
1. Voiceover that lets us all the way inside Sheldon’s head
Whoever is cast to play Sheldon better be a good voice actor, because he’ll be doing a lot of interior monologues, especially, if the show is going the way of Malcolm in the Middle.
One of the advantages of single-camera is that it allows for more cinematic techniques than multi-cam, which pretty much only allows its play-like format. Changing the format opens up room for narration, which would let us hear what Sheldon is thinking. It would give us a deeper understanding of where Sheldon is coming from and why he is the way he is. Conversely, the show could get Jim Parsons to narrate as he reminisces on Sheldon’s past a la The Wonder Years or Everybody Hates Chris.
2. Special effects
Since we’d be seeing the world through Sheldon’s eyes, we’d get to see what he sees when he’s doing equations. It will be cool if the world gets glimpses of models and figures like how John Nash sees numbers in A Beautiful Mind. The writers would probably have to do this in a different way, though. It has to be original.
3. Lots of ’90s details
The prequel will likely focus on Sheldon’s university years. Since Sheldon was born in 1980, started college when he was 11, and got his first Ph.D. when he was 16, that means the show would be set in the early-to-mid 1990s. It would be fun to see Sheldon grapple with grunge, Y2K, or come to terms with Batman changing from Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer. As a fan of the 90s, I am all for this!
4. A strong supporting cast
The Big Bang Theory would be nothing without its character interaction. The spin-off would need to have an equally deep roster of supporting players. Sheldon was The Big Bang Theory’s breakout role, but somebody else would have to step up when the focus isn’t on Sheldon. And if young Sheldon is going to be a child actor, the show would need some grown-up actors who could step up when the kid’s hours are up.
5. Lots of Laurie Metcalf
Laurie Metcalf frequently guest-stars on The Big Bang Theory as Sheldon’s mother, but she’d have to be a central cast member on a Sheldon-as-a-kid show.
Please CBS, we’ve all put up with a lot in 2016, please give us the most side-splitting, mind blowing version of Sheldon you’ve got!