Summary Young Sheldon season 7 is officially delayed, which will have a significant impact on the Coopers and their storylines. The show has diversified its storytelling, focusing not only on Sheldon but also on the rest of his family. The delay may result in Young Sheldon having a shorter season with fewer episodes, potentially affecting the pacing and resolution of plotlines.
Young Sheldon season 7 is officially delayed, which will have a significant impact on what's next for the Coopers. Sheldon and the rest of his family have gone through a lot in the last several years. What started as a lighthearted sitcom that aimed to further capitalize on The Big Bang Theory's popularity has become a full-blown family dramedy, which tackles darker themes such as teenage pregnancy and infidelity. As part of the show outgrowing its original premise is Young Sheldon diversifying its storytelling. This means that instead of always focusing on Sheldon, the prequel also spends a considerable amount of time with the rest of his family.
Four years after The Big Bang Theory ended, Young Sheldon has finally found its own identity. Season 6, in particular, posted show-high ratings, proving that the Coopers have fully endeared themselves to the public. Given this, there's eager anticipation to learn what's next for the clan following an eventful last year that included the birth of Mary and George's first grandchild, Missy's rebellion phase, and Sheldon's first taste of failure. The Young Sheldon season 6 finale both marked the end of an era for the Coopers while also setting up what's next for them. Sadly, there will be a longer wait for the family's small screen return.
With the dual strike of SAG-AFTRA and WGA still ongoing, the fall TV 2023 season is looking really bleak. After months of uncertainty, CBS finally confirms that Young Sheldon season 7 is officially delayed. Previously, the network released its fall 2023 schedule, which was just its usual programming layout. By then, the WGA protests have already been going, but the press release indicated that CBS was being optimistic that the industry issue would be resolved sooner rather than later. Clearly, that didn't happen, with SAG-AFTRA following the writers' fight for fair compensation and better overall working conditions.
It's difficult to predict when Young Sheldon season 7 may release because it's fully dependent on when the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes will end. For context, several main stars of the series have expressed their support for the ongoing strikes, including Lance Barber, Zoe Perry, Raegan Revord, Iain Armitage, and Wallace Shawn. However, based on the production timeline, if the matter gets resolved before September, there may still be a way to salvage the comedy's year. This would give its writers, cast, and crew to get some episodes ready for a mid-season premiere, which is typically scheduled in early to mid-January.
Debuting Young Sheldon season 7 during the mid-season is the best-case scenario for The Big Bang Theory prequel. However, it has its own drawbacks. For starters, unlike shows that are really scheduled for a January premiere, Young Sheldon will still have to adhere to its regular timetable. This means that regardless of its late start, Young Sheldon season 7's series finale will still have to be released sometime in May. To be able to do that, CBS will have to release far fewer episodes for the series' upcoming year. Instead of having a 20+ episode season, it may only get up to 13.
Having a shorter season may not seem like a big deal if it means that Young Sheldon season 7 is released in the next few months. However, it isn't as simple as that. Talks about the upcoming year of The Big Bang Theory prequel being its last have been going on for several months now. Due to the franchise's continuity, Young Sheldon is nearing its pre-determined end. If season 7 ends up its final outing, writers would be forced to cram all the remaining plots that the show needs to address in just 13 episodes. This risks a rushed and ultimately unsatisfying send-off to the Coopers.
Delaying Young Sheldon also has several other implications aside from the public having to wait for far longer for new episodes. While there have been multiple plot inconsistencies between the series, CBS still used The Big Bang Theory as a blueprint for what's going to happen in its prequel. This gives fans an idea of what to expect from the project. Depending on where Young Sheldon season 7 picks up, the prequel could execute a time-jump, which would bring Sheldon back to Texas after his stint in German during the summer. After his final year at East Texas Tech, he will inevitably move to Pasadena to start post-grad at Caltech.
However, Sheldon's story isn't even the biggest narrative left in Young Sheldon season 7. After season 6 totally ignored the plot, its sequel is burdened to finally tackle George's infidelity storyline, as well as his subsequent death. Considering how big of an impact these two incidents have on Sheldon and the rest of the family, CBS cannot simply ignore it without totally breaking The Big Bang Theory continuity beyond repair. Young Sheldon also has some of its original storylines that need to be fully explored. That includes a satisfying resolution to Mandy and Georgie's romance, and Missy's rebellious antics, which could be tied back to Paige.
Given the circumstances of the delay of Young Sheldon season 7, it may be better if CBS simply pushes it all the way back to a fall 2024 release date. This way, it will have enough episodes to properly wrap up loose plot points and give the Coopers a satisfying payoff. The drawback to this is that it poses a problem regarding how rapidly Armitage and Revord are growing. Delaying The Big Bang Theory spin-off for a considerable amount of time means that both of them could look significantly bigger and older when the show returns. This worsens already existing criticisms about the actors not physically looking like 13-year-olds anymore.
If CBS is planning to end Young Sheldon with season 7, perhaps it is for the best if it just fully delays the project. Sheldon and Missy looking older than their age shouldn't be that big of an issue compared to not being able to satisfactorily close out the Coopers' story. However, if Young Sheldon has a future beyond its next year, then coming back during the midseason is a better option, even if it means fewer episodes. In any case, the most important decision here is whether Young Sheldon can still continue beyond season 7 or if it marks the end of the project.