The Big Bang Theory is about to introduce two important new characters in Season 10. Fans of the long-running CBS sitcom will finally get to meet more of Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco) family members — specifically her mother and brother.
As confirmed at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) have been tapped to guest star as Penny’s two, oft-mentioned relatives. As fans know, Penny hails from a small town near Omaha, Nebraska, where her family still lives. Though her dad (played by Keith Carradine) has appeared on the show several times, her mom and brother have never been seen or heard from (although it’s mentioned that the latter was in prison at some point). In The Big Bang Theory‘s Season 10 that’s all about to change.
After years of speculation (and as we guessed in our own Season 10 predictions), the characters will make their long-awaited debut on the comedy at last. As showrunner Steve Molaro confirmed at the recent Comic-Con panel, Sagal will play Susan, who is described as stressed out and neurotic from a life with her troubled son. Meanwhile, McBrayer will play Randall, a cheerful former drug dealer and ex-con. Both characters will make their first appearance in the sitcom’s Season 10 premiere.
Funnily enough, this won’t be the first time that Sagal has played Cuoco’s mom on TV. The two actresses previously worked together in mother and daughter roles on the ABC sitcom, 8 Simple Rules.
After news of Sagal’s casting broke, Cuoco addressed their history on social media. “Yes yes yes yes !!! Once my tv mom, always my tv mom, love you @kateylous !!!!! #fullcircle @thebigbangtheory,” she wrote in a caption alongside an Instagram photo of the two of them.
As for McBrayer’s Randall, showrunner Steve Molaro says casting for the character had to be just right. “[Randall’s] a drug dealer and he has just gotten out of prison. We needed to find the right person to get for this. I think we did a pretty good job on the casting. He’s a little scary,” he said during the panel, per Entertainment Weekly.
The two characters will only be the latest to get introduced after a long build-up. The last season of The Big Bang Theory saw the introduction of Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) much talked-about Meemaw (June Squibb) and Leonard’s (Johnny Galecki) father (Judd Hirsch). Hirsch, who played a significant part in last season’s cliffhanger ending, is set to reprise his role as Dr. Hofstadter in the upcoming season.
While the debut of so many long-awaited characters is no doubt exciting to fans, there may be a reason for the slew of introductions in recent seasons. For the last several months, there’s been rampant speculation that The Big Bang Theory could soon be coming to an end. Contracts for the cast will expire after the upcoming tenth season. Whether or not this rumor turns out to be true will likely come down to how well cast negotiations go this spring. Molaro, for his part, refused to either confirm or deny the rumors and CBS also has yet to comment.
In any case, fans shouldn’t expect the gang’s family members to stop popping up in upcoming episodes. Besides Penny’s now-cast mother and brother, the show also has yet to introduce Howard’s estranged father. Whether that role will be cast in Season 10 or held off for possible future seasons has not been revealed.
The Big Bang Theory will kick off Season 10 on Monday, September 19 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.