Young Sheldon Season 4 kicks off next week, and there are big changes on the way for the Big Bang Theory prequel series. The season will pick up where Season 3 left off, and fans will get to see Sheldon (Iain Armitage) graduate from high school. This was supposed to be the Season 3 finale, but it was not filmed until late this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns in Hollywood during the spring. After the Season 4 premiere, the show will track Sheldon's experiences in college.
Production on Young Sheldon shut down just two days into the production of the real Season 3 finale. Sheldon's high school graduation was just too important to be skipped over, so it became the Season 4 premiere. "It hurt that we couldn’t finish that one," series co-creator Steven Molaro told TVLine in April. "It was really turning out to be quite a lovely episode… We don’t have an official plan, but that is something that I am certainly interested in trying to do, yes."
In the Season 4 premiere, Sheldon has a "breakdown" after he graduates from high school and worries he might not be ready for college at age 11. In one scene from the episode preview, Sheldon talks with his twin sister Missy (Reagan Revord), who tells him he has to face his fears. There are also scenes of Sheldon and his parents George Sr. (Lance Barger) and Mary (Zoe Perry) being interviewed after he is named valedictorian. "Once I'm in college, can we push my bedtime to 8:30?" Sheldon asked Mary.
The Big Bang Theory established that Sheldon enrolled in college at 11, but thankfully the show never said where he went to college. Molaro and the Young Sheldon writers took advantage of that, picking East Texas Tech. That way, Sheldon did not have to leave his parents at such a young age. Once Sheldon is 14 though, he will have to go to CalTech for grad school, since that was mentioned in Big Bang.
"I was like, 'I can’t send this kid away from his mom,'" Molaro told TVLine. "I mean, realistically, he’s a little kid. He needs to have his parents around, or at least have access to some sort of family or someone taking care of him, so that worked out."
Young Sheldon is set in the early 1990s and also stars Montana Jordan as Sheldon's older brother George Jr., Anny Potts as Sheldon's grandmother Meemaw, Matt Hobby as Pastor Jeffery Hodgkings-Difford, and Wallace Shawn as John Sturgis, the college professor who encourages Sheldon. Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, narrates the series. The first three seasons are available to stream on HBO Max and Season 4 kicks off on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.