Christine Baranski

Leonard's mom has got it goin' on — in that she is Emmy and SAG Award winner Christine Baranski. The choice casting news was announced Thursday morning on the set of CBS' The Big Bang Theory, which was playing host to the TCA Winter Press Tour.

The onetime BFF of TV's Cybil and a costar of this summer's Mamma Mia!, Baranski will guest-star on the hot comedy about uncool geeks in at least one episode, this season's 15th. As previously hinted on the show, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter is more than a bit of an academic herself, holding MD and PhD titles and being an acclaimed researcher of the human brain.

Executive producer Bill Prady told TVGuide.com earlier this season, "We've often said there's the possibility that Leonard is the least successful in his family, that his parents always pushed him toward academic success." (Mr. Hofstadter is an acclaimed anthropologist.)

The buzz is that Leonard's mom echoes Sheldon more than her own son, as exhibited by her own quirks and demeanor.

I had the pleasure of a private visit with the Big Bangers this Monday — did I dress sufficiently geeky for this photo? — so watch for that series of video Q&As in the days to come.

With additional reporting by Mickey O'Connor