The Big Bang Theory‘s band of geeks and gals has grown.
During Thursday’s episode of the CBS comedy, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) gave birth to Halley Wolowitz, whose infant screams were voiced by Pamela Adlon. Following that wail — which was reminiscent of Howard’s (Simon Helberg) mother — how will Wolowitz and Bernadette handle this new bundle of joy?
“You’ll get a taste of it in the first episode back in January,” executive producer Steve Molaro tells EW. “The entire gang and Stuart, all eight of them, are back having dinner in the living room like old times, recapping how their horrible holidays went.”
The winter premiere is told in flashbacks that reveal what’s been going on with the gang since the audience left them on Thursday night. “In there will be Howard and Bernadette’s first week or two with the baby and Bernadette’s adjustment to trying to be a new mom,” Molaro says. “There’s a good dose, really actually a very touching dose, of Bernadette and Wolowitz in their first week or two with the baby.”
However, don’t expect baby Wolowitz to change the DNA of the show. “There will be some focus on it,” Molaro says. “Like any new parents, it’s going to be an adjustment for them, but the beauty of this show and having all these amazing characters is there could be an episode where one of the stories involves the baby, or it’s tired dad Wolowitz is back to work with the guys and it’s Big Bang business as usual. I view it as an addition and not a drastic change in how we come up with stories.”
Wolowitz becoming a father may force him to face the elephant in the room that is his own absentee father, who left his family when he was a child. “There are no set plans yet, but it’s always floating around,” Molaro says. “I don’t think we need Wolowitz wanting to [meet him] for it to happen whenever it happens. It’s entirely possible that when his father hears that he’s a grandfather, he might show up, but we don’t have anything in the works for that at this moment.”
With The Big Bang Theory in its 10th season, and the cast’s contracts up this year, the winter finale felt conspicuously like the beginning of the end, with the characters reflecting on how far they’ve come since the beginning of the show. But Molaro maintains that it was simply an organic opportunity to look back. “We were at that moment in the writing where the gang was in the waiting room and Bernadette and Wolowitz were off having their baby,” Molaro says. “It’s a little meta, but it seemed like a nice moment for us to take stock of the characters and how far the show has come, and how much these characters have grown over the past 10 years. It seemed like a natural, pleasant way to reflect on that while they were waiting for this momentous new addition to arrive.”
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The Big Bang Theory returns Thursday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.