Young Sheldon season 8 wasn't an option (why the show was canceled)

Despite good ratings, Young Sheldon is ending after 7 seasons. Why is CBS not letting the show continue?

“Half a Wiener Schnitzel and Underwear in a Tree” - News of the tornado reaches Sheldon and Mary in Germany. Also, with the Cooper house in chaos, Missy steps up, on the season 7 premiere of YOUNG SHELDON, Thursday, February 15 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“Half a Wiener Schnitzel and Underwear in a Tree” - News of the tornado reaches Sheldon and Mary in Germany. Also, with the Cooper house in chaos, Missy steps up, on the season 7 premiere of YOUNG SHELDON, Thursday, February 15 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Pictured: Iain Armitage as Sheldon Cooper. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /
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Young Sheldon is ending after seven seasons despite being a great winner for CBS! Could it have gone another year or was it always set to end at this time? Find out here!

Prequels to hit TV shows can be tricky, but Young Sheldon pulled it off nicely. Jim Parsons narrated the series, which looked back at the childhood of his The Big Bang Theory character, genius Sheldon Cooper (played by Ian Armitage), and showed how he turned out the way he did. 

The series has been a huge ratings success and won wide acclaim for its fun looks at Sheldon and his family. Given TBBT ran a whopping 12 seasons, the prequel only going to seven may be surprising. So why is the show ending already?

Was money a key factor in canceling Young Sheldon?

It does seem money can be a key factor in ending Young Sheldon. Unlike other CBS shows, the series is produced by an outside studio, Warner Bros TV. That means CBS has to pay more for licensing fees and ad dollars, added onto by how the series is now reaching syndication.

With costs on networks higher thanks to the 2023 strikes and CBS having to adjust their strategies, canceling a series that doesn’t make a network more money is a logical move. Now, for a show as successful as Young Sheldon, CBS might have made an allowance and tried to keep it. Except it wasn’t just their choice to end the show like this. 

Young Sheldon was always meant for a shorter run

As it happens, Young Sheldon was never meant to run as long as The Big Bang Theory. The idea was always to focus on Sheldon’s childhood and had been coming closer to the events of Sheldon entering college. While the idea of continuing with that was tempting, it might have hurt the show’s creativity.

A Deadline article quoted insiders on how the producers had used a three-season renewal to plan out the final storylines and always intended to end after seven or eight seasons. Thus, there was never any serious talk of extending its run longer and CBS and the studio didn’t bother trying. 

Executive Producer Steve Holland explained the reason behind this decision while speaking with reporters on Stage 19 of the Warner Bros. lot.

"There are certain things we know happen in Sheldon’s life at 14. We started talking about the future of show, and what it looked like. This is the right time for this story to come to an end, knowing that at 14, he goes off to Cal Tech. It felt like the right time to end it strong while it was on top."

So, while the series is coming to an end, the network is doing the next best thing: A spinoff focusing on Georgie Cooper and his fiancée Mandy McAllister, played on the show by Montana Jordan and Emily Osment, respectively. Season 6 ended with Mandy expecting a child, so it’s likely Season 7 plans out their eventual marriage (even though TBBT revealed it wouldn’t last). 

While Young Sheldon was a single-camera show, this new spinoff is expected to be a traditional multicamera studio audience series like TBBT, which is cheaper to produce. Thus, CBS can continue the TBBT universe in a new way and let Young Sheldon end on its own terms. 

In short, as much as fans may have wanted Young Sheldon to continue, it was the producers rather than CBS who decided ending on a seven-season high was better for the series. At least fans can expect a satisfying conclusion to the comedy’s nice run.

Young Sheldon Season 7 premieres Thursday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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