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Lecy Goranson calls Sean Astin welcome addition to 'The Conners'

Sean Astin and Lecy Goranson will be seen in Season 6 of "The Conners," premiering Wednesday. Photo courtesy of ABC
Sean Astin and Lecy Goranson will be seen in Season 6 of "The Conners," premiering Wednesday. Photo courtesy of ABC

NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Lecy Goranson says her widowed, single-mom character, Becky, finally will be lucky in love in Season 6 of The Conners.

The sequel series to the working-class, multi-generational family sitcom, Roseanne, returns with a fresh episode Wednesday on ABC. It co-stars Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, Emma Kenney, Jay R. Ferguson, Ames McNamara and Katey Sagal.

Season 5 ended in May with Becky meeting sweet and charming FedEx pilot Tyler (Sean Astin) in a bar.

"We have scenes shot," Goranson, 49, told UPI in a recent Zoom interview about Becky's future with Tyler.

"I'm very happy for Becky. She deserves a good guy. It's been a while. He is a new member of The Conners family and we all adore him. He's a joy and a professional, all those good things."

Sean Astin (L) and daughter Alexandra Astin arrive for the Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Sean Astin (L) and daughter Alexandra Astin arrive for the Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Goranson praised Astin, 52, for his tireless picket-line advocacy during the recent four-month Screen Actors Guild work stoppage.

"He also was instrumental to all of us actors during the strike. Thanks to Sean for that," Goranson said.

Laurie Metcalf arrives on the red carpet at the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 2019 in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Laurie Metcalf arrives on the red carpet at the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in 2019 in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The new marriage between Becky's Aunt Jackie (Metcalf) and veterinarian Neville (Nat Faxon) also is going well.

"It's great. I haven't seen Nat, yet. He hasn't been in to do an episode [in Season 6], but I keep talking about him in the shows and saying everything's fine, yeah, so that's going strong," said Metcalf, 68. "Who would have thought, right?"

Sara Gilbert (L) and Linda Perry arrive for the Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2019. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Sara Gilbert (L) and Linda Perry arrive for the Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2019. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

"He does work with animals," Kenney, 24, teased her co-star.

"OK..." Metcalf replied with a laugh.

John Goodman attends the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
John Goodman attends the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

In addition to everyone's love lives being on an upswing, Season 5 also ended on a high note with Lucille (Sagal), the second wife of Becky's father Dan (Goodman), arranging a joint high-school graduation ceremony for Jackie, Becky, their niece, Harris (Kenney), and Dan -- all of whom missed out on celebrating the educational milestone as teens.

"In the Conner family, coming together in joy is always short-lived. There are always conflicts around the corner, people butting heads," Goranson said. "It was a really wonderful feeling of creating our own success, which is what we are always trying to do."

Metcalf said all of the characters enter Season 6 with high hopes.

"But my character has sort of hit a wall early on about her business. The Lunch Box is not doing well," Metcalf said of Jackie's restaurant. "We'll see if The Lunch Box makes it or not."

Meanwhile, tattoo artist Harris is moving further into adulthood.

"Hopefully, she makes the right decisions," Kenney said.

"Harris is mostly figuring out where she wants to spend her time, what she wants to do as her career. She's starting to realize she is getting older now and it's time to figure out her next step and, perhaps, change the family routine."

The show's aunts and nieces are getting along as well as they always have, which is to say they love each other to death, but frequently get on each other's nerves.

"Harris always gets a kick out of Aunt Jackie. Personally, I know I do," Kenney said, prompting Metcalf to add, "I just let Jackie drive her own crazy train around town and watch from afar where it's headed."

Goranson said Becky and her sister, Darlene (Gilbert), still are hilariously at odds 36 years after they were first featured as children on Roseanne, which ran from 1988 to 1997 before being briefly revived in 2018. It then transitioned into The Conners after star and creator Roseanne Barr was fired for making online jokes perceived as racist.

"It's the oldest rivalry in show business," Goranson quipped about Becky and Darlene's sisterhood. "Not really, but they've been at each other for a long time, so I love how Becky tries to get her niece and nephew on her side, almost wanting to pit them against their own mother. I enjoy that. It's fun to play."

Harris has a very different relationship with her younger brother Mark (McNamara), who is heading off to college this season.

"I think she's proud of Mark. I think their relationship has evolved, as well, and it's more peer-like at this point," Kenney said.

The actresses are still having fun making the show, which is recorded in front of a live audience.

"It's always fresh for me, even as a watcher, in a scene I'm actually in because everyone brings something different each take. No two takes are alike," Kenney said.

"It's just a really fun, collaborative set. There are often new lines thrown in on the days we're filming. Sometimes, they won't tell us before, and it will be a real moment we're reacting to live," she added. "There really is something funny for everyone in each show."

Metcalf said the cast gets the following week's script on Fridays after taping an episode.

"I love taking it home and reading it that night to see what we'll all be doing the next week and knowing that -- during the week as the writers continue to work on the show -- it gets better and better," she added.

"They really do write to all of our strengths really well. They know these characters inside and out. I like actually not knowing the arc of anybody or how it's going to end. I just like everything being fresh."

Goranson said she enjoys the relationships with her co-stars as much as the funny lines she gets to deliver.

She recalled how she recently caught a case of the giggles and couldn't get control of herself while taping a scene.

"Sometimes it's just 'joke, joke, joke,' and there's the timing of it and the character intention," Goranson said. "But, you know when things are funny and they just get under your skin in a great way? You just can't shake the humor."

She then turned to Metcalf and reminded her of a joke Metcalf had in the script that she thought was silly, but that Goranson considered fantastic.

"One person's joke that bombs is the other person's favorite joke in the world," Goranson said.

"We also just have a blast," she added. "We're all game. It's kind of a hard job. It's not coal-mining, but you have to memorize all these lines and be on point and [remember] your blocking. It is a little challenging. ... You can't really sleep on this job."