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Young Sheldon paints a happier portrait of Sheldon Cooper's (Iain Armitage) childhood than how The Big Bang Theory's grown-up Sheldon (Jim Parsons) remembers it. Grown-up Sheldon remembers traumatic things like walking in on his father George Sr. (Lance Barber) in bed with his mistress (that's why he knocks three times before entering a room, "two and three are for people to get their pants on"). But while the George Sr. of Young Sheldon has his flaws and his tensions with his wife Mary (Zoe Perry), he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would hurt his family like that.
At least not yet.
"This is early in [Sheldon's] life," co-creator Chuck Lorre tells TV Guide. "The darkness that we've discussed on The Big Bang Theory comes further down the road."
Or it might not come at all, since "Sheldon's perspective might not be entirely accurate," says Lorre. Making the past seem worse than it was does seem like something Sheldon would do.
As for the issue of George dying when Sheldon is 14, as established by The Big Bang Theory, the show has plenty of time to get there, if it ever does.
"It's television," says Lance Barber. "We can let George live as long as the show's popular." Which may be for awhile.
Young Sheldon airs Thursdays at 8/30/7:30c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)
Additional reporting by Megan Vick