Hayden and Dauber together again!
Coach‘s Craig T. Nelson and Bill Fagerbakke are reunited on Thursday’s episode of Young Sheldon (CBS, 8/7c) — and TVLine has your exclusive first look. The reunion comes 24 years after the conclusion of the long-running ABC sitcom, and 17 years after Nelson and Fagerbakke last appeared on screen together in an episode of CBS’ The District.
“It’s been wonderful having Bill Fagerbakke come play with us,” executive producer Steve Molaro tells TVLine. “Craig T. was thrilled to work with Bill again. When I touched base with Craig about it beforehand, he was immediately into it. Having watched them on Coach for so long, it was a treat to get to see them work together.
“Even though they are playing different characters, that chemistry is so natural,” Molaro continues. “They happened to be playing two old friends, catching up in a bar — so some of that was happening in real life as well. Plus, getting to work with the voice of Patrick Star from SpongeBob is a huge bonus in my book.”
TVLine’s sneak peek sees Dale (Nelson) consult cop buddy Jake (Fagerbakke) after Connie (Annie Potts) decides to open a secret gambling room. Elsewhere in the episode, Sheldon, Missy and Georgie adapt to new living arrangements following Georgie’s decision to drop out of high school.
Nelson and Fagerbakke were almost reunited six years ago, when NBC nearly revived Coach. The sacked revival would have picked up 18 years after the events of 1997 series finale, and found Hayden interrupting his retirement to become assistant coach to his own grown son Tim (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Andrew Ridings), the head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania. Fagerbakke and Pam Stone were set to reprise their roles as now-marrieds Dauber and Judy, but Shelley Fabares‘ Christine was poised to be killed off. A pilot was filmed before the Peacock network rescinded on a 13-episode order.
Nelson, who also starred on NBC’s Parenthood as family patriarch Zeek Braverman, has recurred on Young Sheldon since Season 3. Fagerbakke, meanwhile, has voiced the above-mentioned role of SpongeBob SquarePants‘ Patrick Star since 1999. He also recurred on another CBS comedy, How I Met Your Mother, as Marvin, father of Jason Segel’s Marshall Eriksen.
Are you looking forward to Young Sheldon‘s Coach reunion? Watch the video above, then hit the comments with your reactions.