'The Conners' Casts Candice Bergen in Guest Starring Role, First Look Released

A new episode of The Conners will air on Jan. 13, marking the return of the popular Roseanne spinoff. A special guest in Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) will join the family for the episode. The five-time Emmy winner will arrive after an unexpected death and will unveil "shocking information from the past."

According to Deadline, Bergen will guest-star as Ben’s (Jay R. Ferguson) mother, Barb. The outlet reveals that the relationship between the two characters "can best be described as cool." Barb reportedly has a "superior air" and a sharp tongue. However, the description says that she is much more agreeable when she's had a "few drinks." Additionally, Barb is judgmental about Ben's relationship with Darlene (Sara Gilbert).

With the episode weeks away, ABC released a promo revealing the special guest appearance. The brief clip said that a new year means a new episode, as well as a surprise visitor. "They bust into homes like this on that program COPS," Bergen says in the promo.

The Conners, which is in its third season and sits as TV's No. 1 Comedy in the key Adults 18-49 demo (Nielsen Media), revolves around the daily struggles of life in Lanford. The series stars John Goodman (Dan Conner), Laurie Metcalf) Jackie Harris), Sara Gilbert (Darlene Conner), Lecy Goranson (Becky Conner-Healy), Michael Fishman (D.J. Conner), Emma Kenney (Harris Conner-Healy), Ames McNamara (Mark Conner-Healy), Jayden Rey (Mary Conner) and Jay R. Ferguson (Ben). Sons of Anarchy alum Katey Sagal also has a guest role as Louise.

Bergen won five Emmy awards and two Golden Globes while starring on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown. The popular show ran for 10 seasons between 1988 and 1998. Bergen helped bring back the series for a revival in 2018, but it only lasted 13 episodes. She most recently joined Meryl Streep and Dianne Wiest Let Them All Talk, a Steven Soderbergh film that released on HBO Max on Dec. 10.


The Conners has featured some surprising names during its third season. George Clooney technically returned to the role of Booker, the character he played for 11 episodes from 1988-1991. Although he only surfaced during a flashback clip from Roseanne.

Additionally, Danny Trejo had a guest role during the season-opening episode as Tito. He came to the door and spoke to Dan (Goodman). The two men engaged in friendly banter, but the situation changed when Tito served the Conner patriarch with an eviction notice. Trejo's character expressed sorrow about having to serve the notice, but he explained that he needed the money to pay for hospital bills following an accident that his son was involved in.