Preparing to Say Goodbye – “Young Sheldon” Cast and Creators Discuss Wrapping Things Up This Season (Plus Photos from the Set)

“There are certain things that we know happened in Sheldon's life when he's 14, as the character is this season, and we started talking about the future of the show and what it would look like,” Young Sheldon executive producer Steve Holland said about why the hit CBS sitcom is ending with its seventh season, which premieres tonight at 8/7c. The series has been broadcast TV’s number-one comedy since The Big Bang Theory wrapped up in 2019, a series that not only gave birth to Young Sheldon but also created confines within the series must adhere to. “We know he goes off to Caltech at 14. It just felt like the right time to end the show, and to end it strong, and while it was still on top.”

(Evans Vestal Ward/WBTVG)

(Evans Vestal Ward/WBTVG)

The Coopers opened up their home to TCA members for a set visit, which included a press conference about the journey thus far. “In the first season, and in the first few episodes especially, Mr. Jim [Parsons] worked really heavily with me on the way Sheldon talks and walks and speaks,” Iain Armitage reflected about taking on this role at the age of 8. “Big Bang is certainly not aimed at how old I was at the time. I hadn't seen a lot of episodes. I didn’t really know what it was about. And it was, looking back, such a cool experience but at the time, I didn’t even understand and get how cool it was getting to learn from Sheldon himself how to be Sheldon. Since then, I've seen episodes of Big Bang and appreciate how wonderful they are and how much awesome work went into them. I think there are small things that I naturally start to incorporate but I think it's kind of a fun blend of me and what I've learned from Jim Parsons and from Sheldon himself.”

Raegan Revord, who plays Sheldon’s twin sister Missy, reflected on growing up on this set. “I've been on the show since I was nine,” she shared about entering this bittersweet final season. “I watched a video the other day that I sent to Iain whenever we started the show, and I was in a car seat. And I'm now learning how to drive. That is wild. But I feel like having the knowledge that this is the last [season] makes it even easier to cherish and be able to hold onto those moments and be grateful for them.”

Diehard fans of The Big Bang Theory learned a lot about Sheldon Cooper through comedic exposition about his past, but Young Sheldon set out to be its own thing. “We were always given a lot of liberty by [the creators] to figure out where we lived in the beginning of this story because the characters would eventually develop into different versions of themselves,” shared Zoe Perry, who plays Mary Cooper, the religious mother of the family. “We had a lot of leeway to just follow these scripts and not feel particularly tied to what came after.”

One of the things that Big Bang fans know will happen sometime in the future is the loss of Sheldon’s father George, played by Lance Barber. “I had fingers crossed from the beginning, knowing the history of the character, that I would make it to the end whenever that came,” Barber explained. “I always felt I had the luxury of being emotionally prepared for this from day one. We knew the history of George.” Regardless of George’s fate, Lance has always felt like his character was in good hands. “I knew that when and if it did come, it would be done in a beautiful way, and I anticipate that's what's going to happen.”

A pleasant surprise out of Young Sheldon came the softening of Georgie, the bully-ish older brother of Sheldon Cooper. “I think he's realized that he's had to step up a little bit and had to grow up a whole lot,” Montana Jordan said of his character, who became a father at a young age on the show. “I'm happy to see him actually step up and do what he needs to do in order to be a good dad.”

“I was offered just one episode on "Young Sheldon" season five,” recalled Emily Osment, who plays Georgie’s fiancé Mandy and the mother of his child. “I am so grateful to see the arc of Mandy becoming such a staunch feminist, standing up for herself, not wanting to take the Cooper name, wanting to be her own person, not forcing Georgie to get married right away, just wanting to not lose her career, wanting to be herself, and also raise her baby. And I think that was just written so well. I'm very grateful to have joined this cast. I mean, everyone in Hollywood will tell you this is the place you want to be. This is the place you want to work. These are the people you want to work with.”

Season 6 left the Cooper family in the aftermath of a tornado, one that destroyed Meemaw’s house. “It surprised me that I was so affected by it,” revealed Annie Potts. Her iconic TV house was once occupied by The Partridge Family, and the real structure was demolished during a project to redevelop the land for other uses. “I've been working off and on over there for 50 years… When I went to see it, it was like, oh, my God, it really got me.” Potts shared that it’s still surreal to drive by it on her way to and from the Warner Bros. lot where the show is filmed. “It's like a lot of history gone under there.”

There’s a lot of pressure on the producers to deliver an ending that serves the show justice and also sets Sheldon up for the future fans have seen play out on The Big Bang Theory. “I don't think you ever approach it from what the audience wants,” executive producer Chuck Lorre said. “I think that's a level of hubris that gets in the way of doing a good job. You do what feels right. You do what feels appropriate for the characters and the relationships, the tone of the show. You do stuff that touches yourself, and then you hope someone agrees with you. And I don't know any other way to do it.”

Season 7 of Young Sheldon premieres at 8/7c tonight on CBS, with new episodes streaming on Paramount+ and past seasons available on Max and Netflix. And now, a few more photos from the set.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).