Pictured (L-R): Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler and Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita / 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday night, Young Sheldon ends a seven season run with two back-to-back episodes on CBS and CTV. Gone are the day, however, when the end of a sitcom would command record-breakng audiences.

CBS is trying to goose the numbers, of course. The Chuck Lorre-produced sitcom will welcome back Jim Parsons (an executive producer and narrator on Young Sheldon) and Mayim Bialik to reprise their roles as Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler.

Viewers will tune back in out of curiosity, I suppose. But Young Sheldon is no Big Bang Theory.

The series certainly, by today’s broadcast standards, has had a successful run. Young Sheldon premiered in 2017 and became that season’s No. 1 rookie comedy. By the 2019 season, when The Big Bang Theory finally went into hyper-rerun drive on everything Bell in Canada, Young Sheldon became the most-watched sitcom in all of broadcast. While, aside from perhaps Abbott Elementary, the competition hasn’t exactly been fierce, the show has stayed in that position ever since. It fetched 12.9 million viewers for last fall’s seventh season premiere (Live+35 days, linear and streaming totals). Previous seasons have been popular draws on both Netflix and Max.

A lighthearted moment from tonight’s very special episode of Young Sheldon

The show, however, has always had a problem. Because it is a prequel, we know a lot about what comes next for Sheldon, and one particular heartache he had to deal with growing up. To be specific, the death of his father. That character, George Cooper, played by Lance Barber, is key to the first half of tonight’s double header, which, brace yourselves, is titled, “Funeral.”

Now, sitcoms don’t always have to have happy endings. The Wonder Years had a bit of grim fatherly foreshadowing when it ended a five-and-a-half season run decades ago. Modern comedies such as Ricky Gervais’s After Life have left us with very fade-to-black finishes. The Conners‘ lives continued to lurch from one dark corner to another years after the death of Roseanne.


Lorre dealt with the death of a central character on a few of his earlier shows, including Two and a Half Men and The Kominsky Method. There were laughs for sure on those occasions. The difference with Young Sheldon is this sword was hanging over the entire run of the series.

Iain Armitage (left) and and Raegan Revord as Missy. Photo credit: Robert Voets/2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The other problem I have with Young Sheldon is that he just doesn’t look that young any more. At 15, Iain Armatage seems 45. He seems older, to me, than Jim Parsons.

CBS announced last week that they plan to carry on the story by following Sheldon’s brother George Jr. (Montana Jordan) off to a spinoff of a spinoff scheduled to carry on next season. Look, I guess if Leave it to Beaver had ended its run in 2024 instead of 1963, there would have been a Leave it to Wally, or maybe even a Here’s Eddie Haskell! And, yes, I would have watched both. And if I was Chuck Lorre and CBS said give us more, well, as William Devane from Knots Landing once told me, never get off the gravy train until the gravy train stops running.

Pictured (L-R): Montana Jordan as Georgie, Emily Osment as Mandy, and Iain Armitage as Sheldon Photo Credit: Bill Inoshita / 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I get that TV is a big cluttery mess and networks are nervous about launching anything that they don’t already own the Intellectual Property of or that viewers don’t already have a connection to.

Reports this week, however, that Canadian show buyers are down in LA sampling the new pilots and are all excited to start screening — please. Things have changed. If you already own NCIS or FBI or Chicago or Rescue this or that, you are going to fall in line and buy the next one. Hell, Bell has had the rights to the Matlock makeover for a year.

After all, if these folks were in the risk business, they’d start making Canadian TV shows!

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