Who’s going to steal Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) thunder when The Big Bang Theory returns?
Ahead of the duo’s vow redo, Leonard’s dad (Judd Hirsch) may have slept with Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) mom (Laurie Metcalf), throwing a wrench into the festivities. But Leonard’s not the only one with family tension, as Penny’s mother (Katey Sagal) and drug-addict brother (Jack McBrayer) arrive for the big day with their own set of issues.
Moving forward, the geeky gang is in for some big changes: Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Howard (Simon Helberg) prepare to welcome a baby. “We’ve known for years that she didn’t plan on having children, and the reality of all this is starting to sink in,” executive producer Steven Molaro says. The boys also face the terrifying timing of the Air Force, specifically Captain Williams (Dean Norris), inquiring about their guidance-system project. And Amy (Mayim Bialik) plans a new experiment when it comes to the living situation. “A good way to trick Sheldon [Jim Parsons] into doing things is by framing it in terms of science,” Molaro says. Here’s our full chat with Molaro about season 10:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where does season 10 pick up?
STEVE MOLARO: We are picking up the very next morning from when season 9 left off.
Will we actually get to see a wedding?
Well, everyone will arrive and everyone will give it their best shot. They will make a good go of this and some version of it will happen. It may not be the one they expected, but we will make it to a wedding, at least a wedding gathering.
How will Sheldon and Leonard react to their parents sleeping together?
They’re trying to sort their feelings out about what that might mean moving forward.
Is Sheldon excited to get a new brother?
I think he’s got a lot to parse. He’s already got one brother in his life and he’s not a fan of him. He’s had the brother experience, although I don’t think Leonard is that kind of brother that would sit on his head or things like that.
What’s Penny’s dynamic like with her family?
She’s close with her dad. As we know, her brother Randall has been a bit of trouble over the years, selling drugs and being in and out of jail, and that’s put a lot of stress on her mom, so I think the stress between her mother and her brother can make things a little tense. You will pick up on the tensions between her mother and her brother very quickly. You get a glimpse of Penny and her dad being caught in the middle of that.
How long will they stick around?
They’ll just be there for the first episode, but now the great part is we’ve got two amazing actors who have now joined our little universe and will hopefully come back again in the future.
What can you tease of the boys’ project and the introduction of Dean Norris?
We left Wolowitz wondering what exactly it was that the Air Force wants, so in the next few episodes we will get a much better idea. Dean Norris plays a colonel, who is aware of this patent and how it might be used as a military application. I can tell you that Dean is killing it and we’re already in love with him. He is a tough colonel, but also has a science background.
Will Wolowitz’s paranoia continue?
It will very much continue. Well, he’s a neurotic character, so I think his paranoia and distrust of being contacted by the military will continue for awhile.
What will we see for Bernadette and Wolowitz in terms of baby planning?
For the first few episodes, the guys find themselves so caught off guard and so wrapped up in this Air Force project, she’s a little bit on her own with this pregnancy and is in a position to turn to everybody else for support.
What events might we get to see in terms of baby planning?
It’s a little soon for all of that, but I’m sure we’ll dig into more baby type things. Right now, we’re more interested in Bernadette and how she’s mentally handling this pregnancy, which is not as well as she would have hoped. We’ve known for years that she really never liked kids and didn’t plan on having children and the reality of all this is starting to sink in.
Is there a chance we’ll get to meet Wolowitz’s father?
I can’t really say for sure, but we know the character is out there somewhere. Right now with Penny’s brother, Penny’s mom, I think we’re OK on meeting family members at the moment. Dean Norris is not his father. There is no Darth Vader turn happening here.
What are the next steps for Sheldon and Amy?
I don’t want to give away too much, but there are some big experiments in store for them and their relationship.
In terms of them living together?
It’s possible. But I’m stressing the word experiment and it’s something that would they even consider it? Well, usually it’s a good way to trick Sheldon into doing things is by framing it in terms of science.
How might that change the dynamic of the show?
Without giving away too much, there are ways that we can experiment and the show still very much feel like the show. At the end of the day, as long as those people are gathered in that living room to hang out and eat dinner, I think it will always be the show.
How does Sheldon feel about being tricked?
It’s not a trick, he’s aware of what’s happening. Everyone will have all the apprehensions of whatever they’re going to feel and they’ll work their way through it like they have for the last six years.
What next for Leonard?
Leonard is also wrapped in this Air Force project, so that’s going to be on him for the first few episodes.
What about for Raj (Kunal Nayyar) this year? Will he finally settle down?
We’re talking a lot about ways that can go, so I don’t know, but certainly things will continue in that department for him somehow.
Is he still dating multiple ladies?
When we come back he is, but it’s all TBD there. He still has his parents pressuring him to find a nice Indian girl, which is ironic considering the horrendous divorce that they went through on the show. But I don’t think they’re going to stop.
How does the show change going into season 10?
The characters continue to grow, their relationships mature and we’ll just see where it takes everybody. As you know, their growth is organic and we don’t plot out an entire year, so it keeps it exciting for us, because we never know exactly what’s going to happen until it does and it can even catch us off guard in the writer’s room, which I love.
The cast will be going through contract negotiations this year. Are you confident everyone will be back?
I wish we were so far along in the season with so many episodes under our belt that that was actually a concern, but that seems so far off in the distance that I can’t even begin to wonder about it. It’s not our decision to make, but all we can do is push forward and make the best season 10 that we can and go from there.
The Big Bang Theory returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.