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NBC may have canceled Betsy Brandt’s latest series, The Michael J. Fox Show, but it seems the professional actress doesn’t hold a grudge against the network. She’s signed on to return to the NBC drama Parenthood for a recurring role in the show’s sixth and final season. Brandt formerly popped up in an episode of Parenthood back in 2012.
It might seem odd that a one-off character might be returning to Parenthood in a regular role. However, for those familiar with the Parenthood universe, it should make total sense. On the family-oriented series Brandt plays Sandy, the ex-wife of Hank and mother of Hank’s daughter, Ruby, who popped up just in time to see Hank help to wreck Sarah’s relationship with Mark. Hank had a brief stint where he moved to Minnesota, but he was back in the picture last season, offering his studio for Max to work in and even helping Amber out. Since he’s once again pursuing a romance with Sarah, it makes sense that his ex would be back in the picture, although it’s difficult to tell what sort of plot will keep Sandy in the fold for most of the season.
We’ll find out soon enough. TV Line is reporting that Betsy Brandt’s character will pop up in the first episode of Season 6, which is set to hit the TV schedule on September 25. NBC’s messed with Parenthood’s episode count again for its final season, and the network has picked up the series for 13 episodes, down from 22, this time around.
A recurring role on Parenthood might seem like a letdown for Brandt, who played a large role in Breaking Bad before transitioning into starring in The Michael J. Fox Show. Still, the actress is keeping busy. She’s taken a role in Masters of Sex this summer, and will star in the upcoming ABC program Members Only. The gig on Parenthood is just another opportunity for the actress, who will hopefully land another long-term gig, soon—especially since the Parenthood role has a finite end date.
In an ideal world, there’s a lot that Parenthood would tie up before it makes its exit. Sarah needs to find a stable relationship or at least figure out what makes her happy, Julia and Joel need to stop being a schizophrenic couple, Amber needs to find some stability, and Kristina certainly needs to figure out what she wants to do with her working life. Add in side plotlines like Haddie’s lesbian story and Zeek’s quest for meaning in the dusk of his life and the Season 6 slate should be pretty full. I’m not sure if Parenthood will be able to tie up every storyline with a neat bow, but the beauty of the series is that it has never needed to.
Parenthood returns Thursday, September 25 at 10 p.m. ET.