Fans of The Big Bang Theory will be excited to know that there is a new character appearing soon - Leonard Hofstadter's father!
The new character will be played by television legend Judd Hirsch (Taxi, Numbers), as revealed in a tweet from Paleyfest.
We've already met a lot of the characters' family members in the past nine years, so it's not surprising that Mr Hofstadter will be joining the show. We've seen Leonard's mother many times (played by Christine Baranski), and the brusque psychiatrist remains a close friend to Sheldon, if not a wonderful mother. We've also met both of Raj's parents via his Skype, Penny's Dad, Howard's mom (although she never appeared on screen, she was a powerful voice for many seasons), Bernadette's intimidating father, and Sheldon's mother and grandmother.
It's not yet confirmed when we will see Hirsch on the show. Most of the family members appear for individual episodes, so presumably he will show up only once or twice in Season 10. We don't know much about him, either. He is an anthropologist and, like Leonard's mother, much more interested in his research than his son. However, unlike Mrs Hofstadter, we've heard some anecdotes to suggest that he suffered from the lack of empathy in the family as well. He borrowed a young Leonard's hugging machine, after all...
The Hofstadters are divorced, after he cheated on Beverly with a waitress, and that may become a major point in Season 10. Perhaps we'll be seeing a very different parent to Leonard this time. We may even see the two parents in the same room, with the inevitable fireworks as a result.
With the hitcom coming up to its tenth season, there are still a few more parents who could make an appearance in future. Penny's Mom and siblings have been noticeably absent, as have Amy's. Howard's absentee father could also make an appearance somewhere down the line. We've also yet to meet Leonard's two siblings, although we have met Raj and Sheldon's sisters earlier in the show.
We'll have to wait till season ten to find out exactly what happens, but it's fantastic to see this hilarious show expand the backstories of its characters further.
The Big Bang Theory returns this fall.