(LOS ANGELES) — TV’s most-watched sitcom gets a spinoff tonight, with the premiere of Young Sheldon.
The CBS show takes a look at the early years of genius Sheldon Cooper, from The Big Bang Theory. Jim Parsons has been playing the adult Sheldon for 10 years — he recently told journalists that while his childhood was very different from Sheldon Cooper’s, he can identify with him being different than other kids.
“I didn’t like sports,” Parsons said. “I actually like watching them now, but I still don’t play because I don’t want to get hurt. How else was I different? I mean, I enjoyed playing the piano, and I enjoyed doing theater.”
As for whether he was smart, Parsons admits: “I was not an overly bright child. I was mediocre. I didn’t befuddle my parents. That came much later, with my sexuality.”
Nine-year-old Iain Armitage is the actor who plays young Sheldon – and he’s never even see The Big Bang Theory. “It is aimed at a different audience than me,” he says. “Also, I don’t watch a lot of TV. So not really, but I saw a couple of appropriate clips.
With its throwback feel and use of narration, some critics have been calling Young Sheldon a combination of The Wonder Years and The Big Bang Theory. Co-creator Chuck Lorre says he takes that as a compliment.
“We absolutely discussed Wonder Years when we were writing. And I never worked with a narration before, and narration changes the way you write,” says Lorre. “And so we looked for inspiration to shows that used it beautifully. Nobody did it better than Wonder Years.”
Young Sheldon premieres Monday night at 8:30 ET on CBS.
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