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.
The Big Bang Theory creators are developing a Sheldon prequel spin-off
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, and as it's still in development stages, there are almost no concrete details about what the show would be. So we're totally free to imagine what we'd like to see from a Big Bang Theory prequel (presuming we want to see such a thing at all).
Here are the top five things we need to see 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 monologue if we get our way. One of the advantages of single-camera is that it allows for more cinematic techniques than multi-cam, which is pretty restricted to its play-like format. Changing the format opens up room for narration, which would let us hear what Sheldon is thinking even more than his unfiltered speech on The Big Bang Theory already lets us know. 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 be narrated by Jim Parsons as he reminisces on Sheldon's past a la The Wonder Years or Everybody Hates Chris. Yet another possibility is to rip a page directly out of Malcolm in the Middle's book and have young Sheldon talk directly to the camera.
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 would be cool if the world gets overlaid with models and figures like how John Nash sees numbers in A Beautiful Mind.
3. Lots of '90s details
The prequel will probably 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, get his first cell phone, or come to terms with Batman changing from Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer.
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 with unique personalities who could be put together in various combinations. Sheldon was The Big Bang Theory's breakout character, but somebody else would have to step up when the focus isn't on Sheldon. And if young Sheldon is played by a child actor, the show would need some grown-up actors who could step up when the kid's hours are used 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 main cast member on a Sheldon-as-a-kid show. This would be great, because Laurie Metcalf is a national treasure and always a welcome presence on TBBT.
What would you like to see from a Sheldon prequel?
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