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Tuning in to TV: ‘Big Bang Theory’ hero Stephen Hawking to appear

- - Tuesday, March 13, 2012

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" can check off landing another guest star perfectly suited to the nerdy comedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking will guest star on the April 5 episode of the geeky comedy, the network announced Monday.

The renowned scientist has been a frequent target for the show about four lovable nerds, with the Chuck Lorre-Bill Prady series first making a nod to the guys' hero worship of Mr. Hawking in the pilot.

"When people would ask us who a 'dream guest star' for the show would be, we would always joke and say Stephen Hawking - knowing that it was a long shot of astronomical proportions," Mr. Prady said in a statement announcing the news. "In fact, we're not exactly sure how we got him. It's the kind of mystery that could only be understood by, say, a Stephen Hawking."

But Mr. Hawking isn't the only dream guest star the series has lined up. The show will welcome Leonard Nimoy - another famed hero of Jim Parsons' Sheldon - to its ranks for a March 29 guest gig in which the voice of Spock comes to Sheldon in his dreams.

'Homeland' heads to Israel for part of second season

The hit TV series "Homeland" is heading home - to Israel.

According to the Associated Press, Showtime says its Golden Globe-winning thriller, which is adapted from the Israeli drama "Prisoners of War," will film part of its second season in Israel.

The show tells the story of an American soldier released from captivity and a CIA officer who suspects him of being an al Qaeda turncoat.

The network said the second season of "Homeland" will premiere Sept. 30.

Small parts of the first season also were shot in Israel. Showtime spokeswoman Chloe Comins said Tuesday that most of the second season will again be shot in Charlotte, N.C.

Sutherland lured back to TV with 'Touch'

Kiefer Sutherland acknowledges he had no intention of going back to television after the action-packed "24" ended - but that all changed when he read the script for "Touch."

The actor was starring on Broadway in a play called "That Championship Season" when he was approached with the script for the science-fiction drama.

He was ready to dismiss "Touch" until he found out "Heroes" writer Tim Kring was behind it and Peter Chernin, the head of 20th Century Fox when Mr. Sutherland started "24," was producing it.

"I felt I should read it, kind of out of respect to both of those gentlemen," Mr. Sutherland said.

The 45-year-old was lured back to TV because, like "24," the show gives audiences something fresh and unique: an international outlook. The first episode alone has scenes set in New York, London, Dublin, Tokyo and Baghdad and features actors from several countries.

"We spend so much time talking and making films and television and our news about the divisive things between human beings, what makes us different," Mr. Sutherland told the Associated Press. "It's been a long time since I saw someone approach something from the perspective of, 'What are the things that we have in common?' "

So Mr. Sutherland is going from gun-wielding Jack Bauer in "24" to struggling single dad Martin Bohm in "Touch," which centers on Martin's relationship with his 11-year-old son, Jake, played by David Mazouz.

Wrongly diagnosed as autistic, Jake has never spoken. But he has an obsessive connection to patterns and an ability to predict events around the world before they happen.

"Touch" premieres March 22 on Fox.

Mystery witness latest twist in 'Housewives' trial

The trial over Nicollette Sheridan's firing from "Desperate Housewives" featured one last twist Monday with the disclosure of a mystery witness who has indicated show officials tried to cover up correspondence related to the actress.

A judge ordered the man to appear in court Tuesday morning to determine whether he will become one of the final witnesses that jurors considering the case will hear from. The man, who was identified as Michael Reinhart, left a message for Miss Sheridan's attorney Sunday afternoon stating that he mistakenly received an email that suggested messages related to Miss Sheridan's departure would be purged.

The man on the message said he didn't want to become involved in the case, but by day's end had become the latest intriguing thread in a trial that has featured a behind-the-scenes look at "Desperate Housewives" and conflicting testimony.

"There was a definite conspiracy to cover up the correspondence ... in regards to Nicollette," the caller is heard saying on the call, which was played in court outside the presence of the jury.

Adam Levin, an attorney for Mr. Cherry and ABC, dismissed the claims.

"Today's antics by the plaintiff, conjuring up mysterious emails, appears to be a last-ditch effort save her case," Mr. Levin said after Monday's proceedings.

'America's Got Talent' winner trying out politics

A winner of the NBC show "America's Got Talent" has decided to make another stab at politics.

The Southeast Missourian reports that Neal Boyd of Sikeston, Mo., will seek election as a Republican in the newly drawn 149th Missouri House District. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder made the announcement Saturday at a Cape Girardeau County Lincoln Day event.

Mr. Boyd is the first GOP candidate to announce his intention to seek that seat. Democratic state Rep. Steve Hodges also plans to run. Mr. Hodges' current district is split into parts of three districts under the new map, according to the Associated Press.

Mr. Boyd won the $1 million prize on "America's Got Talent" in 2008.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.