When The Conners returns for Season 3 this October, it will feature a lot more Ben.
Per TV Line, Jay R. Ferguson has been promoted to series regular.
Executive producer Bruce Helford told TV Line that Ferguson's real-life friendship with Sara Gilbert (Darlene) helped their on-screen relationship.
"Jay and Sara have a long history," Helford said.
"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."
"We actually had plans at one point for her to be thinking about somebody else and kind of blowing this relationship up," he continued.
"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."
"We have a lot of regulars, but certainly I think it's likely Jay is going to be around for a long time," Helford concluded.
Ben and Darlene's relationship was a pivotal plot during The Conners Season 2 as they wondered which direction to take their relationship.
They questioned whether to leave the Conners house behind and live in their own dewlling, but in the end, they opted to stay out and help Dan.
The Conners entered production on Season recently, and is set to produce 19 episodes.
It has been a solid performer for ABC after rising like a phoenix following the cancellation of Roseanne.
ABC announced the return of The Conners last week, revealing that it will get underway Wednesday, October 21.
"We couldn’t be more excited to spread some much-needed joy with our Wednesday night comedy lineup,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment.
“While we had to be incredibly flexible this year, we are so lucky that we’re able to continue our long tradition of making Wednesday night comedy a strong staple of our fall broadcast schedule.”
The cast of The Conners includes John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy, and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.