The project is nearing a script deal, sources tell Variety.
Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on the flagship series, is attached to executive produce the spinoff along with Chuck Lorre and “Big Bang” showrunner Steve Molaro. “Big Bang” co-creator/exec producer Bill Prady is likely to be on board as an exec producer as well.
Molaro will write the script focusing on Sheldon, the idiosyncratic and neurotic genius, as a youth growing up in Texas. The character’s colorful family and formative years in the Lone Star state have often been referenced on “Big Bang Theory.” Laurie Metcalf earned an Emmy nomination this year for her recurring guest star role as Sheldon’s mother, Mary Cooper.
CBS and Warner Bros. TV declined to comment.
“Big Bang Theory” is television’s top comedy, a major feat for a show in its 10th season. Warner Bros. and CBS are expected to begin discussions soon about a renewal deal that is anticipated to take the show through another two or three seasons. A prequel spinoff would give CBS a shot at extending the valuable “Big Bang” franchise.
Renewing “Big Bang” is an expensive investment, as the core cast members — Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco — currently make $1 million per episode for their 24-episode seasons. A new series would come with a lower cost structure but capitalize on the built-in “Big Bang” fan base.
Sources caution, though, that the follow-up series is still in very early development, just at the script stage.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.