After Suburgatory spent months glossing over who Tessa's mother is and why she's not around, the ABC comedy has finally landed an actress to actually show up as Tessa’s mom, a woman who has not seen her daughter since her birth. Malin Akerman will appear in the upcoming cycle of the network show as the wayfaring parent Tessa has tried to play off as unimportant in her life.

As Season 1 wore on, it became clear Tessa does have conflicting feelings about her mother and does think of her from time to time. Towards the end of last season, fans even met Tessa’s grandmother on her mother’s side. After that ball was rolled, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Tessa’s mother showed up, too. It will still be a while before we meet Akerman’s Alex, however. TV Line is reporting the actress won’t appear in the show’s sophomore season until the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes.

Alex is being described as a songwriter who is "free-spirited," which is vaguely reminiscent of the role the actress nabbed in last year's Wanderlust. Instead of getting into a hippie commune, however, Akerman’s character will be busy trying to figure out how to become part of her daughter's life, well, at least during the holidays.

The role sounds pretty interesting for Akerman, an actress who has also appeared in TV shows like Children’s Hospital and Entourage, but who largely favors roles in films. Appearing on Suburgatory should help Akerman get a more firm foothold in TV, while still allowing her to pursue projects elsewhere. Since Akerman was signed on for The Smart One pilot this fall that never made it to series, continuing to add TV work to her resume can only help her during pilot season in the future. Sounds like a win/win situation.

ABC’s Suburgatory premieres on October 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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