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The Big Bang Theory taps Judd Hirsch as Leonard's father

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Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Leonard’s father is finally coming to town on The Big Bang Theory!

It was announced at Wednesday’s PaleyFest panel that Judd Hirsch has been tapped to play Leonard’s dad, who is a stark contrast to Leonard’s mom, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski).

“We talked about Leonard’s father being a very different kind of character than his mother,” executive producer Chuck Lorre told EW ahead of the panel. “When you look at Leonard and his mother, and how different Leonard is, well the other piece of the equation is his dad, so you can imagine the space that character has to occupy and who he’d have to be to get a Leonard out of the equation.”  

Added EP Steve Molaro: “I can tell you that the dynamic with his ex-wife is challenging.”

The Taxi star, whose recent TV credits include The Goldbergs, Forever and Numb3rs, will appear later this season. Actually, Galecki said he played a role in Hirsch’s casting when they met at NBC’s James Burrows special. “I met this fellow a month or two ago and he’s a hero of mine and I knew that he was a hero of Chuck and Bill’s, so I just accosted him and cornered him and practically made him commit on the spot to play my father,” Galecki said, noting he was inspired while filming The Big Bang Theory pilot by Hirsch’s character in Taxi. “I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Big Bang Theory returns Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.