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The Big Bang Theory is set to end after the upcoming twelfth season, and there are only so many episodes left for the show to bring back beloved guest stars. While the show likely won't fit in everybody fans would love to see back in the mix at least one more time, we can add one more to the list of guest stars set to reprise their roles before the final credits role. Yes, Bob Newhart will be back on The Big Bang Theory.
Not too many details about how and why Bob Newhart will reprise his role are currently available, but TVLine reports that his Season 12 episode is expected to air sometime in the first half of Season 12 this fall. Newhart's Season 12 return will mark the sixth time he's played Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory, which is frankly remarkable given that his character has been dead for years.
As fans will remember, Arthur Jeffries died way back in Season 7, and The Big Bang Theory isn't exactly a show in the habit of incorporating ghosts. Nevertheless, The Big Bang Theory has found a way to bring Sheldon's idol back in the years since his death, and in the most Sheldon-like way imaginable. Arthur has come to visit Sheldon in his dreams, dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi and carrying a light saber. It's not quite a twist as epic as the one Bob Newhart pulled on his own show years ago, but it was a solid way to bring him back to the show without resurrecting the character.
Bob Newhart's most recent Big Bang Theory appearance came in Season 11's "The Proton Regeneration." He visited Sheldon in an hour of need: when Sheldon learned that Wil Wheaton of all people would take over as Professor Proton. This unfortunate twist naturally left Sheldon distraught, and he needed the dream/Force visit from his former idol.
Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton has visited Sheldon in his dreams in some of Sheldon's hours of great deliberation, such as when Sheldon was finally considering sleeping with Amy. Arthur advised Sheldon to spend Amy's birthday with her and celebrate as she'd wanted for a long time rather than see The Force Awakens immediately after it premiered.
Well, dream Jeffries did something right, as Sheldon and Amy tied the knot at the end of Season 11. Hopefully he gets some gratitude from Sheldon when he returns in Season 12, however that happens. As a figment of Sheldon's imagination, a thank you wouldn't change anything, but it would still be nice to see. Only time will tell. We'll have to wait until The Big Bang Theory gets into gear for its twelfth and final season as part of TV's fall lineup. The Big Bang Theory Season 12 premieres Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET.