YOUNG SHELDON


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Meemaw’s house...

    Young Sheldon Cooper [Iain Armitage] with his beloved Meemaw [Annie Potts], in one of Set Decorator Richard C Walker SDSA’s favorite sets. In the video below, he takes us on tour of another.

    Richard talks of this being a “memory” show, as it’s narrated by the grown Sheldon telling of his childhood, thus the sets are often within that filter...

    Photo by Monty Brinton ©2017 CBS Broadcasting. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Meemaw’s house...

    Sheldon’s grandmother is a character with great aplomb and style...

    Annie Potts.
    Photo by Eric Voake ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Meemaw’s house...

    Richard channeled his grandmother with many of the personal selections...
    “This is a passage of time. She’s had years to build up this wealth of furnishings and art and sentimental objects...”

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Meemaw’s house...

    A classic...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Church office...

    Sheldon’s mother, Mary [Zoe Perry] volunteers regularly at the church...
    Here, with no-nonsense secretary Peg [Nancy Linehan Charles]...

    Photo by Michael Yarish ©2019 CBS Broadcasting. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Church reception...

    So many exactly right details...
    Richard recalls aspects of his childhood and translates them onto the set...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    King Kong Comics store...

    Comic book stores were constantly appearing in the original TBBT series.
    Sheldon discovers his first...

    Photo by Jessica Brooks ©2017 CBS Broadcasting. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    King Kong Comics store...

    Sheldon and his friend Tam get lectured by his mother about reading “mature” comic books...

    Ryan Phuong, Iain Armitage.
    Photo by Bill Inoshita ©2018 CBS Broadcasting. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    King Kong Comics store...

    This recurring set is a comic book paradise of the late 1980s...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Library...

    Richard was able to fill this vintage library card file with a full system of cards from the time period...from his own mother’s church collection. When a specific card is pulled in one of the scenes, it’s the actual card for that book, not a replication!

    He points out that his team worked diligently to have all of the books in the library set up true to the Dewey Decimal system...

    Sarah Baker, Iain Armitage.
    Photo by Cliff Lipson ©2018 CBS Broadcasting. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    COW TOWN book...

    Speaking of books, COW TOWN is one Richard created from an exhibition of cow art he also created for a previous series, SAVING GRACE.
    The book is an Easter egg in this series. See if you notice it propped on a counter or causally on a table or shelf!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Leonard, childhood...

    Sheldon gave a party to watch the Nobel prize ceremony on TV, but no one came, since it was live in Norway, which meant in the wee hours in Texas. It gave him pause to wonder if he would have no friends to be there when he wins the Nobel prize in the future. In the finale of THE BIG BANG THEORY, we see his friends attend that very event.
    Here, his future friend, 8-year-old Leonard Hofsteader [Isaac Harger], is listening to the announcement in New Jersey.
    His mother said that he should be in bed.

    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Leonard, childhood...

    This may seem a typical boy’s bedroom but check the corners for clues to the seeds of his future interests!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Koothrapoli, childhood...

    9-year-old Rajesh Koothrapoli [Rishabh Prabhat] in New Dehli, India studying in his room during the announcement.

    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Amy, childhood...

    11-year-old Amy Farrah Fowler [Lily Sanfelippo] reading her favorite book LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE...

    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Amy, childhood...

    Richard also channeled ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for Amy’s room...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Bernadette, childhood...

    5-year-old Bernadette had to share her room with her brothers, but Richard made sure she had pretty shoes perfectly lined up and a fancy dress-up dress...
    We love the realism of the boys’ bunkbeds not quite fitting into the alcove...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Penny, childhood...

    4-year-old Penny in Nebraska had no interest in the Nobel Prize, no knowledge of it. She was asleep in her colorful room.

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Kindergarten...

    Who wouldn’t love to go to school here?!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Radio Shack...

    Sheldon’s first computer. The Tandy computers are a specific time link...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Bread factory...

    This is a typical Richard C Walker set for a simple phone call that Sheldon makes.
    Richard refers to these sets as the “B” side of a Sheldon phone call.

    The scene was described as the office of the CEO/manager of a bread factory, the maker of Sheldon’s favorite bread...
    Note, it includes a lunch tray on the table, with ice chest for a working lunch...none of which is depicted in the description!





    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Bread factory...

    We couldn’t pass up a close-up of the artistic and fascinating set!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Hoarder...

    Richard and team sensitively portray a hoarder’s home...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Hoarder...

    He explains that this person is a collector...of many things and has many interests.

    “...I know how I’ll start a project and then leave it sitting somewhere while I go do something else, and then there’s another...and this guy likes a lot of things...they’re important to him.”

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Spark’s Garage...

    This classic gas station has the mechanic’s garage/autoshop to the left of it and a SnoCone shack to the right. See the video below!

    This is on the Warner Bros Ranch backlot...and is the same building used for the sporting goods store featured in the video below, plus a trophy shop, a grocery store and myriad other sets have been created for the show in this same location. Around the corner behind the trees are the houses that are used for the several of the show’s homes...The rest of the sets are created on huge soundstages at Warner Bros. or on the backlot there.

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Spark’s Garage...

    Sheldon’s father George Sr [Lance Barber] stops by to see how his son Georgie [Montana Jordan] is doing working for their neighbor Hershel [Billy Gardell]...

    This set was created at the gas station location...

    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Ballard’s Sporting Goods...

    Meemaw [Annie Potts] has a new boyfriend...
    See video below for more!
    This is the set Richard takes us through...
    And which was created at the same location as the gas station!

    Craig T. Nelson.
    Photo by Robert Voets ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Hot Topic, mall store...

    This season, Richard and team tackled re-creating popular mall stores of the late 1980s...
    We love the juxtaposition of Sheldon and the outfit on the mannequin behind him! Richard gives the directors, actors and cinematographers such rich sets to play off of, to our delight!

    Iain Armitage, McKenna Grace, Raegan Revord
    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Hot Topic, mall store...

    In case you thought that last photo was just a tiny set!
    Check out, among everything else, the great lighting!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.



  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Salon...

    Sheldon’s sister Missy is not pleased to spend a salon day with their mother and grandmother...

    Photo by Michael Desmond ©2019 WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Salon...

    Richard, however, loved creating the salon!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Pharmacy...

    Another incredibly realistic set created for just one main scene!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Pharmacy...

    It’s not surprising that at times, Richard’s sets have been mistaken for the real thing!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Grocery...

    This is just a close-up.
    Imagine a set as full as the Pharmacy but with different types shelving and filled with groceries and kitchen items...
    You can get a glimpse of it in the video below...

    Photo courtesy


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Bakery...

    Fun nod to 1980s-but-timeless Texas in a set that was mostly used to feature a wedding cake...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Bar...

    A new significant set for this season, Richard and team give a subtle nod to Texas...
    You’ll see several shots of this set, including one with Reba McIntire, in the video below...

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Steakhouse...

    Many restaurant sets have appeared, but none are alike!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Mexican restaurant...

    This is a favorite of Meemaw’s - watch the series to find out why!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.




  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    Russian family's kitchen...

    In the article below, we mention the one-line themes the writers will come up with, that Richard and team then fully create, far beyond anyone’s expectations!
    As we say, the word “simple” is not in his vocabulary!

    Photo courtesy of RCW/WBEI. All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Richard C Walker SDSA
    Production Designer
    Joe Lucky
    CBS/CBS All Access


    TEAM AMERICA

    We just had to include an image from Richard’s favorite film project, where he had to creates sets 1/4 normal size, with Production Designer Jim Dultz and the crews.
    Richard and his teams found items to be re-proposed, reimagined into...a Phillipe Starck lamp and chair, a harbor, innumerable sets, hundreds of fun elements!


    Photo courtesy of RCW. All rights reserved.




April 13th, 2020

 
For the young Sheldon Cooper, it isn’t easy growing up in East Texas. Having a mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn’t always helpful in a land where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. 
His father, George, is struggling to find his way as a high school football coach and as father to a boy he doesn’t understand. Sheldon’s mother, Mary, fiercely protects and nurtures her son in a town where he just doesn’t fit in. Sheldon’s older brother, Georgie, does the best he can in high school, but it’s tough to be cool when you’re in the same classes with your odd little brother. Sheldon’s twin sister Missy sometimes resents all the attention Sheldon gets, but also remains the one person who can reliably tell Sheldon the truth. Finally, there’s Sheldon’s beloved Meemaw, his foul-mouthed, hard-drinking Texas grandmother who is very supportive of her grandson and his unique gifts. 
For 12 years on THE BIG BANG THEORY, audiences came to know the eccentric and extraordinary Sheldon Cooper. This single-camera, half-hour comedy allows us the chance to meet him in childhood, as he embarks on his innocent, awkward and hopeful journey toward the man he will become. 
--  CBS Television Network and CBS All Access
 
 
Thanks to Set Decorator Richard C. Walker SDSA, Production Designer Joe Lucky and their teams, it’s easy to become immersed in the childhood of the singular and beloved character from TBBT.
 
The ever-gracious Walker is quick to give Set Decorator Ann Shea SDSA acknowledgement for the 12 seasons of the original series THE BIG BANG THEORY and Betty Berberian SDSA credit for establishing the Cooper home for the YOUNG SHELDON pilot, which subsequently became the first episode of this iteration. 
 
But for three full seasons, Richard has been sharing with us the 9-to-11-year-old Sheldon’s world, from a perspective he can very directly relate to—he grew up in a similar time, with some of the same savant qualities, just channeled differently, a visual creativity instead of numbers. This is the Set Decorator who carried around a 6-inch puppet leg and foot for several months to shop for, discover, then reinvent and repurpose elements for the sets for TEAM AMERICA! 
There are obviously some shared qualities, although, Walker is as charming and engaging as the adultSheldon is not.
 
His career has included the glamorous and the arcane. His foray into television was a glitzy soap opera, leading to another, from there many hit sitcoms and comedies, receiving an Emmy + multiple Emmy nominations for a range of shows. Walker jumped in at the beginning of this series, expanding on the base and dealing with innumerable swing sets full force for the full season, and the next, has now wrapped the third, and when television production comes back up, he and his team will begin the fourth.
 
Typical of a television series, the first season establishes the basic storyline and sets, the second, third and future seasons expand and explore, and show more depth. The producers were enthusiastic about visually telling the story, so the myriad swing sets multiplied into innumerable! 
 
For instance, the writers would come up with great one-line themes based on phrases or concepts children are told, or certainly were at that time, such as...
...Kids around the world are not getting enough to eat...
...Kids around the world are receiving limited toys...
...The seven deadly sins...
Each of which, although just one line in a script, was rendered in detail in the scene’s set. Walker is known for that deep detail and wit, so even the “simplest” [not a word he’s familiar with] 2-wall insert shots, are fun and fully realized.
 
Warner Bros Property

There have also been homages to the original series, i.e. a classic comic book store and, recently, in recognition of that show’s finale, the childhood bedrooms of key TBBT characters were depicted, each personality defined in these visual glimpses into their origins. A huge responsibility Walker and his team embraced. 
[See photo gallery above and video below!]
 
Another tie-in this season, the young Sheldon and his father visited Cal Tech and the now iconic cafeteria where we saw the very tables he and his friends would occupy as young physicists and scientists in TBBT. These weren’t copies, they were the exact pieces brought in from the Warner Bros. museum. [Check the video below!]
 
In the second season, Richard and his team were able to thoroughly bring us into Sheldon’s beloved Meemaw’s world. And, what a delight that has been! Walker has personally channeled aspects of his grandmother into this sassy, casino-going, Texas-lady’s home which, fittingly, reflects different periods of her life all in one place. He loves letting people tour the set. “It has to be the epitome of everyone’s Grandma’s house...you always hear, ‘Oh, my Grandma had that!’” 
 
He points out, “It’s a nostalgia memory show...you want to hit those buttons on everybody’s memories.”  This applies to each of the sets, whether a gas station/auto parts store with a peeling SnoCone shack next door or an early Radio Shack store with Tandy computers. [Did we mention, you should see the video below?!]
 
There is also a very sensitive and real portrayal of a hoarder. This isn’t just piles of newspapers, this is a repository for many treasured items, carefully, beautifully curated by Walker and his team. [See gallery above.]
 
We haven’t mentioned the slippery slope of this particular time period, which isn’t far enough back to be considered retro, nor the ephemera particularly collectible. Yet, a variety of stores and restaurants with those very elements included are brought forth for just a short time on camera, but with such depth, at times the production crew felt they were real! And if it’s a recurring set, which means it’s completely wrapped and then they re-create it later, sometimes more than once, he makes sure there isn’t a slip of that realism, “Guys, this is a store, things can change...it’s a living breathing thing.” As are all of his sets, actually.
 
Editor’s note:
See the gallery above...
...and the video visit below, where Richard chats with SDSA Executive Director Gene Cane and me, while revealing the Ballard’s Sporting Goods set from this season!
We know you’ll enjoy!
And a special shoutout thank you to Warner Bros. Property Department for your support at this time!

Karen Burg, Editor
SET DECOR 

Richard C. Walker SetDecor Interview from OfficialSDSA on Vimeo.

A set visit with Set Decorator Richard C. Walker SDSA! 
Richard talks with SDSA Executive Director Gene Cane and SET DECOR Editor Karen Burg
--Video edit by Chase Helzer, SDSA Social Media Director 
 
 


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