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From ‘Gotham’ to ‘Young Sheldon,’ TV’s characters and how they grew

Iain Armitage stars in

Iain Armitage stars in "Young Sheldon," about the young genius who'll grow up, in a manner of speaking, to be Jim Parsons' character in "The Big Bang Theory." Photo Credit: CBS / Robert Voets

Sheldon Cooper, the beloved geek played by Jim Parsons on “The Big Bang Theory,” has really grown on viewers over the past 10 years. Now fans can see him grow up in “Young Sheldon,” one of CBS’ buzziest fall shows that focuses on Cooper’s childhood.

Here are five other series that turned back the clock on popular characters.

The Flintstone Kids

YEARS ON 1986-88

PREVIOUS SERIES “The Flintstones”

STARS The voices of Lennie Weinrib, Julie McWhirter and Hamilton Camp

THE PREMISE Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble often behaved like children, but in this toon, they actually were kids getting into mischief with junior versions of Wilma, Betty and Dino, too.

TYPICAL PLOT The tots play a spy game in which they pursue the mysterious Agent Dino 07.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

YEARS ON 1992-93

PREVIOUS SERIES None, but there were those three movies about Indy.

STARS Sean Patrick Flanery, George Hall

THE PREMISE Each week Old Indy (Hall) would recall an exploit — usually involving some historical figure — from his youth.

TYPICAL PLOT Young Indy and his girlfriend thwart German spies’ plot to steal plans for a new electric motor from Thomas Edison’s lab.


YEARS ON 2001-11

PREVIOUS SERIES “Adventures of Superman,” “Lois & Clark”

STARS Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum

THE PREMISE Long before he was Superman, Clark Kent was a typical teen in Smallville, Kansas, at least for the first four seasons before heading to Metropolis.

TYPICAL PLOT A tornado hits Smallville as Clark and gal pal Chloe get ready to go to the spring formal.

The Carrie Diaries

YEARS ON 2013-14

PREVIOUS SERIES “Sex and the City”

STARS AnnaSophia Robb, Austin Butler

THE PREMISE This “Sex and the City” prequel could have been called “Sex Education and the Suburbs.” In it, 16-year-old Carrie Bradhsaw (Robb) lives in Connecticut, where she deals with high school, boys and her desire to be in Manhattan.

TYPICAL PLOT Carrie attempts to cook Thanksgiving dinner for her family and is thankful for help from her new boyfriend.


YEARS ON 2014-present


STARS Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue

THE PREMISE Gotham City police commissioner in the making James Gordon (McKenzie) joins the force and for his first assignment, helps Det. Harvey Bullock (Logue) solve the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the parents of Bruce Wayne. Unlike the tongue-in-cheek “Batman,” this show takes itself much more seriously.

TYPICAL PLOT Gordon investigates an inmate escape from Arkham Asylum for the criminally insane.

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