See How the 'Big Bang Theory' Paid Tribute to Stephen Hawking

The scene was designed to be the end tag for Thursday's season 11 finale, but was cut for time.
Sonja Flemming/CBS

CBS' The Big Bang Theory paid tribute to the late Stephen Hawking during Thursday's season 11 finale in a scene that ultimately had to be cut for time. However, the network on Friday released the touching scene originally designed to be the end tag for the season.

In the clip, a post-wedding Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and his new wife Amy (Mayim Bialik) receive a gift that was mistakenly delivered to Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny's (Kaley Cuoco) apartment.

As it turns out, Hawking — who guest-starred in multiple episodes of the nerdy comedy from Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steve Molaro — sent the gift to Sheldon before his passing. (Hawking died March 13.)

"When we heard of Hawking's passing, we wanted to do something to honor him but we had already shot the next three episodes," showrunner Steve Holland told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's hard for us to be super timely because we shoot ahead of our airdates so this seemed like a really nice opportunity."

The scene was originally supposed to air as the end tag to Thursday's season 11 finale, but with the wedding running long, it had to be cut to fill the specific time of the broadcast. Either way, producers knew the scene would always be made available.

"The wedding was a big episode and it seemed like a good chance to pay some tribute to him," Holland said. "Steve Molaro had this idea that Hawking could have sent a gift before he passed. He had had the idea for the gift and for the inscription and we contacted Professor Hawking's family to get their blessing. They were very nice and excited for us to do it. I'm glad it will be somewhere."

Click here to read Holland's comments on Amy and Sheldon's wedding and what's next for the happy couple. The Big Bang Theory returns in the fall on CBS.