Exclusive First Look: Big Bang Theory Gives Howard A Big Rival

The Big Bang Theory‘s Howard Wolowitz soon will face some literally big competition when he meets Bernadette’s ex — and TVLine has a first look at the imposing encounter!

In the January 20 episode of the CBS hitcom, Rick Fox, a three-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, guest-stars as Bernadette’s former flame, Glenn. When Howard meets — and sizes up — this man from his lady’s past, it gives him cause to wonder how he’s “measuring up” in his first big romance.

Big Bang boss Chuck Lorre tells TVLine that upon meeting Fox during Eliza Dushku’s own recent guest turn, “We thought it would be hilarious if he had dated Bernadette. Just knowing that she had been with a man who’s 6-foot-7 and perhaps one of the more handsome human beings in the world…. What that might do for Howard?”

Lorre’s answer: “It causes Howard extreme paranoia and insecurity — as it would any man, really.”

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory returns with fresh episodes tonight at 8/7c.