Here’s Why ‘Young Sheldon’ Is Ending After Season 7

The hit CBS comedy airs its final episode in May

Pictured (L-R): Montana Jordan as Georgie Cooper, Emily Osment as Mandy McAllister, Lance Barber as George Sr., Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper, Raegan Revord as Missy Cooper, Zoe Perry as Mary Cooper, and Annie Potts as Connie 'Meemaw' Tucker in "Young Sheldon" Season 7
(Robert Voets/CBS)

Spun off from one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time, the “Big Bang Theory” prequel “Young Sheldon” became a mega-hit in its own right. A consistent ratings winner for CBS, which just surged to the top of the Nielsen streaming charts after the first six seasons dropped on Netflix, “Young Sheldon” debuts its seventh and final season in February 2024. So why is one of the most popular comedies on broadcast TV ending?

During a Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday, conducted from the “Young Sheldon” set in Burbank, Ca., executive producer Steve Holland explained it was time for the series to conclude. And it’s pretty straightforward: due to predetermined story points in the canon of the title character, Sheldon Cooper.

“There’s certain things that we know happened in Sheldon’s life when he’s 14,” Holland said. “It just felt like this was the right time for that story to come to an end, with those big events happening.”

“We know he goes off to Caltech at 14,” he continued. “It just felt like the right time to end the show, and to end it strong and while it was still on top.”

Originated by Jim Parsons on “The Big Bang Theory,” the character of Sheldon Cooper came with a backstory that was well-established during the 12-season run of the original series. You might have caught that Holland referred to “big events,” but only mentioned one — well, if you’re a “Young Sheldon” watcher who’s not familiar with the “Big Bang Theory” canon, be aware more significant spoilers lie ahead.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory” (Warner Bros./CBS)

It’s not just that he leaves Texas for California to pursue his post-grad degree. There’s a second major life event in the Sheldon Cooper canon that happens when he’s 14: the Cooper patriarch, George Sr., dies of a heart attack in the same year.

“Young Sheldon” star Lance Barber, who plays George, spoke to the TCA about knowing the end was coming for his character.

“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 said. “I always felt I had the luxury of being emotionally prepared for this, from day one.”

Asked whether he got nervous when George’s heart condition flared up in previous seasons, Barber said, “I never got any inclination that the end was coming any time soon. Nor did I fear it. And 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.”

The cast also spoke about what it meant to them to be a part of the show and how they felt about saying goodbye after all these years.

“I’ve been on the show since I was nine,” said Raegan Revord, who plays Sheldon’s sister, Missy Cooper. The actress recalled recently watching a video from when the series first started filming: “I was in a car seat. And I’m now learning how to drive.”

“But I feel like having the knowledge that this is the last one makes it even easier to cherish,” she continued, “to be able to hold onto those moments and be grateful for them.”

"Young Sheldon" season 1
“Young Sheldon” season 1 (CBS)

“God, I’m sick of these two,” Armitage joked before getting more candid. “I’ve had the best time getting to grow up and be here with all of you guys, and I love everyone here so much.  I am so sad that this is coming to an end but, honestly, I could have asked for nothing better.”

A spinoff series is already in development. But Chuck Lorre insists the focus is still all on “Young Sheldon” right now. The executive producer and sitcom giant firmly shut down a question about the next installment in the “Big Bang” franchise: “We’re just focusing on ending the show and ending it as strong as we can possibly end it.”

While Lorre was obviously not going to share how “Young Sheldon” will end, he did share some perspective how they’re approaching it.

“I don’t think you ever approach it from what the audience wants,” 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.”

“Young Sheldon” fans will find out if they agree when the series finale airs on May 16, 2024.


One response to “Here’s Why ‘Young Sheldon’ Is Ending After Season 7”

  1. Teresa Givens Avatar

    That is not true that shows don’t end with what the fans want. NCIS LA went out on top and it left the ending in I think six episodes on the end as to what would make them happy and HAD to happen to bring closure. All of the top things did happen.

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