Bob Newhart is coming to The Big Bang Theory.
The comedian and star of the Bob Newhart Show and Newhart will reportedly make a visit to the hit CBS sitcom to play the childhood hero of Sheldon (Jim Parsons).
Newhart will play Professor Proton, the host of a children’s science show. The episode will focus on Sheldon’s quest to find Newhart’s character online. When Sheldon finally does locate Professor Proton, he learns that he can be booked out for events, so Sheldon invites Newhart’s character to the house.
Newhart’s guest spot comes at a good time for The Big Bang Theory. The show regularly wins its time slot on Thursday nights and is often the top show in the 18-49 demographic.
“There’s something impossible to fathom about viewers and numbers and things like that,” Parson said about the show’s high viewership numbers. “I can barely picture 20 people in one room. If you want to say 17 or 18 million, well you’ve lost me.”
The show is also a critical success, earning several Emmy Nominations during its run. Jim Parsons has also won two Emmy Awards (and one Golden Globe) for best actor.
The show, which was recently celebrated at PaleyFest, has a strong hook on viewers. According to Simon Helberg, the frequent re-runs on TBS has drummed up a huge audience to CBS.
“You’re kind of forced to watch the show now.” Helberg said. “We’re shoving it down people’s throats, and then they’re learning that they love that.”
The show has also been able to draw a number of high-profile guest stars. Leonard Nemoy, Stephen Hawking, Buzz Aldrin, LeVar Burton, Neal DeGrasse Tyson, George Takei, and Stan Lee have all made appearances on the show.
The appearance will mark the first time that Newhart has been on television since 2005, when he made a guest spot on Desperate Housewives. Before that he appeared on ER in 2003.
Bob Newhart’s guest turn on The Big Bang Theory will air May 2.