By Lynette Rice
November 11, 2010 at 06:20 PM EST

Image Credit: Kevin Parry/WireImage.comVeteran small-screen actor Bob Newhart is coming to TV’s No. 1 program! EW has learned exclusively that Newhart — who last played Morty on ABC’s Desperate Housewives — will guest star in a January episode of CBS’ addictive series NCIS. He’ll play Dr. Walter Magnus, a character who’s described as a “shrewd, eccentric nostalgic” with a whole lot of charm.

Want more? He’s also a former medical examiner who comes out of retirement to relive the magic — but something unexpected happens that catches Ducky (David McCallum) and the others by surprise.

Newhart comes at a particularly good time for NCIS, which at 21.4 million, is TV’s most-watched drama.