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Bob Newhart picks up the phone to talk about his first classic sitcom -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Forty-two years after its premiere, The Bob Newhart Show continues to matter. Based on Newhart’s buttoned-up comic sensibility — yes, before making Johnny Carson roar with laughter, Newhart had been an accountant — The Bob Newhart Show was the story of a Chicago psychologist, Bob Hartley; his lovely wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette); and the oddball characters that lived in their building and visited his office. With its simple, straightforward premise — low-concept, even — the show became the template for subsequent comic-driven sitcoms, good and bad.

For six seasons, The Bob Newhart Show ran as part of CBS’s juggernaut Saturday-night lineup, which also featured All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore. The series never quite reached the ratings its time-slot neighbors did, and it was never recognized for even one Emmy Award. Still, Newhart’s brand of humor, epitomized by his deadpan, one-sided phone conversations, which always veered into zany territory, made its mark. Its spirit was resurrected in Newhart, the actor’s second successful sitcom, which in turn honored its predecessor with the most famous series finale in sitcom history. READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory': Bill Nye teases tonight's episode

If millennials are looking for a sign the ’90s have returned, look no further than the resurgence of Science Guy Bill Nye. Recently, the television fave of any kid who has ever had a substitute science teacher has been making his way back into the public eye, with appearances on news programs and a far-too-short stint on Dancing With the Stars this season. Now, he’ll play himself and join the nerds of Big Bang Theory in tonight’s episode of the CBS comedy, which will also feature the return of Professor Proton (Emmy-winning Bob Newhart).

“They bring [Newhart] back by having the gang meet him in a drugstore,” Nye explained to EW about the set up for tonight. “And you know Bob Newhart’s timing is just amazing. So Sheldon goes up to him and says, ‘Excuse me, Prof. Proton, you probably don’t remember me because of your advanced age’… Prof. Proton ends up talking to Leonard about this idea he has for nano-vacuum tubes, a hypothetical thing. And Sheldon, in order to compete with him, brings me on. And it turns out Prof. Proton feels that Bill Nye the Science Guy stole his shtick.”

Below, check out a Q&A with Nye discussing working with Newhart, his involvement with the show, and his pick to win Dancing With the Stars. READ FULL STORY

Marcia Wallace, actress from 'The Simpsons' and 'The Bob Newhart Show', dies at 70

As Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, Marcia Wallace may be the only 4th-grade teacher to have the same student for 24 years. Before that, she was beloved as Carol Kester, the lovelorn, wisecracking secretary on The Bob Newhart Show.

Wallace, who was a breast cancer survivor for 28 years, has died at age 70, according to the showrunner of The Simpsons. “I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” producer Al Jean said in a statement to EW. “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

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Bob Newhart and Bill Nye to guest on 'The Big Bang Theory'

It’s a science invasion on Big Bang!

Bob Newhart is returning to The Big Bang Theory in his Emmy-winning role as Professor Proton, Sheldon’s childhood television hero. This time around, Professor Proton contacts Leonard (Johnny Galecki) to ask for help with an experiment, and a hurt Sheldon (Jim Parsons) seeks revenge by befriending a rival TV science host, Bill Nye.

Bill Nye, who was eliminated from Dancing With the Stars this week, will also guest star in the episode as himself.

The episode airs Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

On the scene at the Creative Arts Emmys: Sprinting to the stage and memorable first wins

TV fans are eagerly awaiting next weekend’s Emmy Awards, but on Sunday evening, the celebration of the year’s best television kicked off with the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. It’s a ceremony that primarily honors behind-the-scenes work in TV but also packs in some categories like Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, which became the show’s buzziest award when it went to comedy legend Bob Newhart — his first Emmy win.

The jokes coming from presenters at the Creative Arts Emmys mostly poked fun at the ceremony’s long running time, nearly four hours of almost 90 awards (an edited-down telecast will air on FXX this Saturday), and the behind-the-scenes folks vs. stars dichotomy. “Tonight we honor all the people in television contractually forbidden to make eye-contact with me,” first presenter Joel McHale joked.

It’s a night when the less magazine-covering, less spray-tan-prone of the TV world get to dress up and be recognized for their often-under-the-radar work.

MythBusters co-host Kari Byron told EW before the show, held at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre, “This is the one day a year that we take off the clothes that we worry about whether they’re flammable or not and put on the fancy duds, walk the carpet and be part of this amazing celebration of the creative arts.” READ FULL STORY

Bob Newhart wins his first Emmy for 'The Big Bang Theory'

It’s been a long time coming — 51 years to be exact — but Bob Newhart has finally won an Emmy. After seven nominations, beginning with a nod for writing for The Bob Newhart Show in 1962, the comedy icon picked up the award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, recognizing his appearance on The Big Bang Theory.

Newhart received the award Sunday night at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys. The awards show primarily honors the behind-the-scenes folks of the television world but also recognizes actors in guest roles ahead of the main event next weekend. The audience gathered at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre gave Newhart a standing ovation upon the announcement of his name. “I was totally unprepared for that,” he told press backstage on Sunday of seeing the crowd on their feet for him.

In his acceptance speech, the 84-year-old actor thanked his wife of 50 years, his four children, and The Big Bang Theory cast, “who really threw themselves on the sword for me.”

How did he manage to leave the Emmy Awards without a statuette for so many years? Newhart humbly told press backstage, “The best answer to that really is whenever I was nominated, there were better people in the category than me. That’s the truth. The best person wins. That’s the way it is.”

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Bob Newhart to appear on 'The Big Bang Theory'

The Big Bang Theory has signed on another celebrated actor for a guest role. Comedy legend Bob Newhart will appear in an upcoming episode of the hit CBS show, EW has confirmed. The news was first reported by TVLine.

Newhart’s most recent TV guest appearances include NCIS in 2011, Desperate Housewives in 2005, and ER in 2003.

The six-time Emmy nominee will play Professor Proton, former host of Sheldon’s favorite science show as a kid. Sheldon’s long-awaited opportunity to meet his childhood hero (who also played a part in Leonard’s childhood) comes when he realizes that Professor Proton can be hired for parties and events.

Newhart’s episode will air on Thursday, May 2.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

Read more:
Bob Newhart: He Had a Dream — TV Icons Q&A
Geeky tearjerker story of the day, courtesy of Wil Wheaton
‘Big Bang Theory’: Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard’s reactions to the big ‘Star Wars’ news

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