The Conners are welcoming a new guest this week on the hit ABC show. Candice Bergen is set to make an appearance as her character arrives in Lanford. The Miss Congeniality star plays the role of Barb, the mother of Ben (Jay R. Ferguson) who is also from Lanford, but that doesn't necessarily mean her visit to their town and with the Connors is smooth sailing.
In tonight's episode, "A Cold Mom, A Brother Daddy And A Prison Baby" Barb lives up to her name. In the episode, Ben scrambles to make his mother feel right at home; however, she doesn't seem as pleased as they had hoped for. Making comments like "this couch smells" gives the characters and viewers a rather uneasy feeling. The mother-son duo has never been particularly close, but a death in the family is what brought Barb back to her hometown. However, that only adds to the tension that already exists between the family members. Fans can view the episode clip here.
Viewers of the series can look forward to Season 3 continuing to explain the dynamic relationship because while Ben doesn't get along with his mother so well, he and Darlene live at the Conner home because of how well they all get along with her family. While viewers continue to get new episodes, there have been delays in production as a result to the pandemic. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible who are on set, COVID-19 guidelines are to be followed in strict fashion to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Ferguson was recently promoted to a series regular just ahead of Season 3. The actor joined the Roseanne spinoff to play Ben, the new love interest for Darlene, but the writers and producers decided to up his role. As he grew to be a major player during Season 2 of The Conners, fans have been speculating that he may be moved into a regular at some point, but weren't sure when. Executive producer Bruce Helford told TV Line that Ferguson's real-life friendship with Sara Gilbert (Darlene) helped as well.
"Jay and Sara have a long history," he noted. "They were buddies since they were teenagers. And their chemistry is so freakin' good. We didn't know [the Darlene/Ben romance] was going to be long-term." He added, "We actually had plans at one point for her to be thinking about somebody else and kind of blowing this relationship up. But as we watched them we [realized] you can't get much better than the way they act with each other because they're two alphas going at it. And there's a genuine affection between them in real-life." The Conners airs at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.