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October 14, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: George Takei Warps to 'Big Bang Theory'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 1st 2010 9:00AM
It's safe to say that the nerds of 'The Big Bang Theory' -- Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon (Emmy winner Jim Parsons), Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) -- are quite familiar with 'Star Trek' lore.

But this season, only one of that quartet will share a scene with 'Star Trek's' Sulu, George Takei, who'll play himself on the CBS comedy in an episode tentatively scheduled for Thu., Oct. 14.

Take a moment to absorb this phaser blast: In that episode, Takei will appear alongside fellow geek icon Katee Sackhoff ('Battlestar Galactica'), who, as I reported last week, is returning to 'Big Bang Theory' to play Wolowitz's conscience.

In an interview, Prady explained that Wolowitz is thinking about getting back together with his ex-girlfriend Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), and it sounds as though Sackhoff and Takei will represent opposing points of view.

"George Takei plays himself, and he's the other person guiding Wolowitz in his thoughts as he tries to figure out what to do about Bernadette," Prady said.

Prady won't disclose the venue for this conversation, but he ruled out a return to Wolowitz's bathtub, where Sackhoff famously appeared last season. But Sackhoff and Takei do share some dialogue, Prady noted.

"I think they do discuss being typecast in science-fiction shows," Prady said.

Though the CBS comedy is opening up a new comedy block for CBS on Thursdays this fall, Prady said that the show doesn't have any plans to alter its basic DNA or engage in crazy stuntcasting.

He noted that he's not a fan of guest stars that "take you out of the world" that the characters normally live in, hence the show's plans to continue casting people and actors that "mean something to these guys."

Stuntcasting means that "you're not watching the show -- you're watching Madonna or Britney Spears. You're watching something that's meta. What we often do is have people from the sci-fi or technology world, often playing themselves," Prady said.

Along those lines, computer pioneer Steve Wozniak will appear in the second episode of the season, and Prady and co-creator Chuck Lorre hope to engineer a return visit for Wil Wheaton, a 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' veteran who has guested on the show a few times as Sheldon's nemesis.

Speaking of guest stars, Mayim Bialik, who plays Sheldon's new friend Amy Farrah Fowler, will recur this fall, and Laurie Metcalf will return in episode 3 as Sheldon's mom.

Wait, I have a feeling I've forgotten something. Oh yeah! Jim Parsons won a Best Comedy Actor this week. Thoughts, Mr. Prady?

"We couldn't be prouder of him," Prady said. "He obviously brings an astonishing performance."

But Prady went out of his way to praise the entire cast, which includes Kaley Cuoco as Penny.

"Usually when you do this [job], when you sit in the writers' room, there's a cast member you're writing away from. You're sitting in the room going, 'Well, he can't deliver a line like that' and 'She'll never give you this moment that you're envisioning, so let's just write away from it,'" Prady said. On 'Big Bang,' "we sit in a room and never once, not for a moment, do we talk about any of these actors not being able to do anything we can think of. It's so wonderful to have Jim's performance acknowledged by the Academy, but it's one of five incredible performances that we experience."

I'll have more from Prady closer to 'The Big Bang Theory's' Sept. 23 season premiere.

[Follow @moryan on Twitter]

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You're joking, right? If not, do you stone any of your neighbors who are divorced? Beat your slaves? Don't forget, eating shellfish or the flesh of a cloven animal is an abomination.

September 05 2010 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S.

I am sure Mr. Takei will lose sleep knowing you aren't going to watch the show....LMAO...

September 05 2010 at 6:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

david...I am always amazed at how you all fall behind your religion. Life is short. Live and let live. If you spend all of your time worrying about what your god approves of. Life will be short had hardly worth living. Because the other sheep believe in this myth does not make it so.

September 05 2010 at 5:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stunt casting might actually help this show.

85% of every episode is jim parsons acts like a jerk and how everyone tolerates it.

It's "2.5 Men" or "The King of Queens" with light science jokes instead of sex jokes.

Something to break up the monotony would be nice. Stunt characters would be one way. Some character growth might be another way.

September 01 2010 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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