January 30, 2013 12:39pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Big Bang Theory': 'Raising Hope' Actress to Play Love Interest for Raj (Exclusive)
Raj's time might finally have come on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.
The lovable geek who's currently unable to speak to women without the assistance of alcohol is getting a love interest. Raising Hope's Kate Micucci has been tapped to join the CBS ratings juggernaut, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
While details about the role are being kept under wraps, Micucci will appear in multiple episodes and play Lucy, a potential love interest for Kunal Nayyar's lovelorn Raj. She'll first appear in the Valentine's Day episode on Feb. 14.
The half-hour, titled "The Tangible Affection Proof," is shaping up to be a special one. "It's a big one for Leonard and Penny -- there might be somebody getting down on one knee," co-star Johnny Galecki (Leonard) recently told THR of the Valentine's Day episode. "We never started doing holiday event shows until two or three seasons in, when we did the Christmas episode. That was a big hit, and we struck a chord of sentimentality with our audience, and we'll continue to do so. The Valentine's Day episode will be that."
Buzz about a love interest for Raj first surfaced at Comic-Con, where exec producer Chuck Lorre teased that season six might bring some good luck with the opposite sex for the shy character. "We have a romance planed for Raj this year," he said in July. "Wait until you see it!"
Talking with THR in August, showrunner Steve Molaro said Raj would be exploring his "large hole of loneliness" now that his former wingman Howard (Simon Helberg) had tied the knot. "Love interest is a strong word, but he will continue to try and plug that hole -- though not necessarily romantically," he said of the character who famously romanced his iPhone's Siri last season.
Micucci plays Sabrina's cousin Shelley on Fox's Raising Hope. Her credits also include Til Death, Scrubs and Four Kings. Repped by WME and Mosaic, she's also half of the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.