If there is a comedy show out there appealing to science-fiction fans — like say “Big Bang Theory” or “3rd Rock from the Sun” — expect George Takei to be a part of it.
That latest show is “Neighbors,” where actual illegal aliens become a part of the neighborhood on ABC. Takei, best known for playing Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series and films, will show up in the season finale as the father of character Larry Bird, played by Simon Templeton.
ABC won’t say exactly what kind of rule beyond that Takei will have, except that he comes bearing a big announcement for the alien clan.
But could this role open up doors for later appearances, possibly even more regular in Season 2? Takei had something similar happen in the NBC genre show “Heroes,” where he played the father to Masi Oka’s Hiro Nakamura, turned into somewhat of a recurring role in the following seasons, becoming a popular character by himself.
Takei has remained quite busy since his “Star Trek” days. In fact, his last appearance inside the official franchise was in the 1996 “Star Trek: Voyager” episode “Flashback,” which helped celebrate Star Trek’s 30th anniversary that year. He has appeared in a number of series, especially as a voice in animated series, like “Hercules,” “Batman Beyond,” “The Simpsons” and even “Scrubs.”
His more recent work includes “Hawaii Five-0” on CBS, “The New Normal” on NBC and “Supah Ninjas.” He also spends a week every so often on Sirius XM’s Howard Stern show as the program’s announcer, where Stern tries to find some comedic way each time to break through Takei’s very classy shell.
“Neighbors” airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Through the end of December, the comedy has averaged a 4.2 rating/7 share, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. It’s ranked No. 12 on ABC’s schedule and No. 40 overall. Among new shows, it’s tied for eighth out of 24 shows with the now-cancelled “Last Resort.”