Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons at an event.

Jim Parsons Replaced, Not Playing Sheldon In ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Spinoff

The Big Bang Theory’s spinoff is in development. Jim Parsons is executive producing the new CBS show, titled Sheldon, which will center on his socially inept character, Sheldon Cooper. It is a prequel series, and the original cast members of The Big Bang Theory, including Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki, will not appear on it.

As the Big Bang Theory prequel-spinoff will focus on Sheldon Cooper’s childhood in Texas, a young actor has been cast to play the titular role. According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), eight-year-old Iain Armitage, who is playing Shailene Woodley’s son, Ziggy Chapman, on HBO’s Big Little Lies, will play the younger version of Jim Parsons.

Child actor Iain Armitage at an event.
Iain Armitage to play Jim Parsons’ character Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory’s prequel-spinoff. [Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images]

The producers have cast Sheldon’s mother as well. In Big Bang Theory, Lauri Metcalf plays his deeply religious mother, Mary Cooper, and for Sheldon, the veteran actress’ daughter, Zoe Perry, has been roped in to play the part.

Actress Laurie Metcalf (R) and Zoe Perry at an event.
Zoe Perry to play Sheldon’s mother in The Big Bang Theory spinoff. [Image by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images]

The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon lives and works in Pasadena, while his younger version, who is considered a child prodigy, will be based in Galveston, Texas. The producers are likely to soon cast his brother, George, and fraternal twin sister, Missy.

Series co-creator Chuck Lorre and showrunner Steven Molaro are co-writing the new show, which has been described as Malcolm in the Middle. Co-creator Bill Prady is also expected to be involved in some capacity.

Sheldon is said to be a single-camera comedy. The show, however, has yet to receive an official pilot order from CBS, and Warner Bros. TV has not confirmed the casting news.

CBS and Warner Bros. TV have not closed negotiations on Sheldon, and because of that, both the parties are not yet officially talking about the Big Bang Theory sequel, according to Deadline. The production house and the broadcaster are likely to officially announce the new show once they hammer out The Big Bang Theory’s new renewal agreement.

The original series continues to be the top-rated comedy series on CBS, and Sheldon has become one of most iconic characters on television. The talks of a prequel series centered on 10-year-old Sheldon comes in the tenth season of The Big Bang Theory, which made its debut in 2007.

The series is barrelling toward its Season 10 finale. The license agreement deal between CBS and Warner Bros. TV, along with the original cast members’ contracts, expires once the current season wraps up in May. All the parties involved had signed a three-season deal in 2014.

Last month, it was reported that the five original cast members, Jim Parsons, Jonny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, were close to finalizing their new contracts. Also, The Big Bang Theory was set to get a two-season renewal, which would make the series run through Season 12.

CBS and Warner Bros. TV have not yet officially confirmed the renewal. Meanwhile, according to recent reports, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, who made guest appearances in Season 3 and became series regulars from Season 4, are still negotiating their new contracts. They are demanding pay parity.

Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki are expected to continue earning $1 million per episode, while Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg will be reportedly taking home the same amount as the trio starting The Big Bang Theory Season 11.

The five original cast members have decided to take a “small pay cut” so that Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik are able to secure a good pay raise, according to Variety.

“In the renewal talks that began late last year, the original cast members agreed to take a $100,000 cut in salary for the prospective 11th and 12th seasons to free up $500,000 to fund raises for Bialik and Rauch.”

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays on CBS.

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]