TV’s erstwhile Murphy Brown will soon cross paths with The Conners.
Five-time Emmy winner Candice Bergen is set to guest-star in the Wednesday, Jan. 13 episode of the Roseanne spinoff as Ben’s mother Barb. She arrives in Lanford after an unexpected death and “unveils shocking information from the past.”
According to Deadline, which first broke the news of Bergen’s casting, Barb is highly judgmental of her son’s relationship with Darlene. She has “a superior air and a sharp tongue,” but is “much more agreeable when she’s had a few drinks.”
Bergen is best known for her role on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown, which ran for 10 seasons between 1988 and 1998. A revival was launched in 2018, but lasted just 13 episodes. She most recently appeared opposite Meryl Streep and Dianne Wiest in the Steven Soderbergh film Let Them All Talk, which dropped on HBO Max on Dec. 10.
Upon its return, The Conners will lead into the new Kyra Sedgwick sitcom Call Your Mother, which also launches Jan. 13. As a result, fellow Wednesday-night comedy black-ish will shift to Tuesdays at 9/8c beginning Jan. 26, where it will be paired with Season 2 of sister series mixed-ish. (For additional midseason premiere dates, check out TVLine’s printable January calendar.)
Season-to-date, The Conners is TV’s top-rated comedy with Live+7 DVR playback folded in, averaging a 1.3 demo rating (to Young Sheldon‘s 1.2). And among ABC sitcoms, it is the most watched, averaging 6.23 million viewers.
Are you looking forward to Bergen’s appearance on The Conners? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.