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The Conners Darlene Conner-Healy Sara Gilbert ABC

Fans of The Conners are currently awaiting the return of the series in late January. However, many already have their sights set on the series’ future, namely, Season 3. An official renewal has yet to happen for the spinoff, but there is no need to worry, as that does not mean it is not going to get one from ABC.

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke opened up about The Conners’ future at the winter TCAs. To say that Burke’s update is hopeful would probably be an understatement. It would seem that the popular sitcom will be sticking around to tackle more social issues. Regarding Season 3’s status, Karey Burke told Deadline:

We are deep in conversations with the cast and the producers. . . . We would be crazy not to renew The Conners. It performs incredibly well for us, it’s our second highest rated show, neck-and-neck with Modern Family. We expect it would be back for another season.

Didn't I say it sounded hopeful? Season 3 is clearly not a done deal yet. That said, ABC seems incredibly interested in keeping The Conners going. Based on what Karey Burke is saying, discussions with the producers and the cast have already begun, which marks a promising sign of where things stand as the series approaches its return following the winter hiatus.

There could be some changes ahead, though. The cast is reportedly looking to have a salary increase for Season 3. When The Conners got renewed for Season 2, the deal entailed more episodes and larger paydays for the ensemble. In related news, Season 3 is said to be looking at an episode count akin to the current season’s nineteen.

ABC definitely needs to keep its comedy lineup going strong. Karey Burke mentioned The Conners’ performance in the ratings going toe-to-toe with Modern Family’s. That long-running series is in the midst of its final season and heading ever-closer to its series finale. The Conners, on the other hand, is showing no signs of slowing down as it prepares for the possibility of Season 3.

The Season 2 finale will reportedly leave the story open to continue for a potential Season 3. This is a great sign, because things on The Conners are setting up for some long-term intrigue. The sitcom is bringing back a surprising family member in the form of Dan’s younger brother, Little Ed. In some critical follow-up news, The Conners recently cast the role.

Shameless’ Noel Fisher, who plays Mickey Milkovich on the Showtime series, will play Little Ed. His arc is slated to begin in February, and in more good news, Fisher will star in a minimum of two episodes as Dan’s younger brother. Between the resurgence of Little Ed and Darlene finally getting a worthy romance, there is a lot to look forward to when The Conners returns.

So far this season, there has been restaurant drama and the beginnings of a serious story for DJ. When The Conners returns, the family will continue sifting through whatever comes their way. While the family’s drama may be nerve-wracking, there is no need to be anxious over the series’ Season 3 future. Everything seems to be looking up in that regard.

New episodes of The Conners will return on Tuesday, January 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Season 2 will resume as one of this winter’s premieres.