Season 4 of broadcast television’s #1 comedy Young Sheldon closed with situations that could hardly be classified as comedy: Genius Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) trailed after his heartbroken twin, Missy (Raegan Revord), when she decided to run away. And their parents, Mary (Zoe Perry) and George Sr. (Lance Barber), argued, driving the high school football coach to a bar, where neighbor Brenda Sparks (Melissa Peterman) was offering solace.
We also saw the return of Sheldon’s mentor, Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn), who may no longer be teaching but has found a job at a grocery store. Check out the exclusive clip above where Sheldon visits Sturgis at his work and they discuss — no surprise — Lord of the Rings.
“We keep exploring the cracks in their relationship and the toll that having this family, and especially a special son like Sheldon, has taken,” says executive producer Steve Holland, who promises “deeper storylines” along with the usual fun when Season 5 premieres on October 7 on CBS.
For more, we turned to Armitage.
What happens when the missing 11-year-olds inevitably return home?
Iain Armitage: Sheldon is ready for the hammer to drop and them to be punished for running away. He’s very paranoid.
How are his parents doing after that blowup?
[The show is] going to play out a little bit of the guilt for butting heads, but I think it’s getting better [for them].
We hear that Meemaw (Annie Potts) looks for a hobby, something that keeps her busy and excited. How would you describe her this season?
Meemaw is as feisty as ever. I would say if I couldn’t be Sheldon, I would be Meemaw. She’s the best.
Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn) is back and working at a grocery store. Is he enjoying that?
Very much! Mr. Wally, just like Miss Annie, is a pleasure to work with. There are scenes I have with Mr. Wally where I cannot keep a straight face if you paid me. I’ll say before the take, “I’m not going to laugh, I’m not going to laugh”…and then I laugh.
What do you do on set when you’re not shooting?
Child actors have school in between scenes, so I’m dividing trinomials while [adults are], I don’t know, on their phones. I might be at “crafty” [craft services] because I love food. [Or in] my dressing room—I love to play with my hamsters. I love all of it, really.
You get to work with people like Miss Annie and Reba McEntire is coming back [as ex-wife to Craig T. Nelson’s Dale]. Do you ever go back and look at some of their old work?
I’m a big fan of Broadway and musical theater and Ms. Reba McEntire was in a production of Annie Get Your Gun that my mom absolutely loved. I was not born yet, so I didn’t get to see it unfortunately. And Annie Potts was in Pippin on Broadway and she was absolutely phenomenal. She was on a flying trapeze and flipping over and stuff while singing. So anyone who can do that, I’m a fan of theirs.
Let’s pretend you could take Sheldon to his first Broadway show. What would the first show be? If it could be anything, what would you want him to experience?
First of all, I could just imagine him saying, “But why are they singing? It doesn’t make sense. He just broke up with his girlfriend and now he’s singing. Why? And why is he tap dancing?” I would want to do something that would be really insane like take him to Pippin or Hair! I would like Young Sheldon to be made into a musical but not sure they could do that.
Young Sheldon, Season 5 Premiere, Thursday, October 7, 8/7c, CBS