TVline has announced that veteran actor Loni Anderson will be cast in the Freeform hit television show, Baby Daddy as the “good-times” grandma of main character, Ben.
The show is currently in its fifth season, and in those five years, the show has had some unanticipated changes to the scheduling, a change of the network’s name, and changes in the cast.
For instance, it was reported by J-14 that Daniella Monet had replaced Allie Gonino in the part of Sam, a girl who works at Ben’s bar, and who has a crush on him.
It’s also been said that no one other than the actors themselves know why Allie was replaced, or why Allie, who is also a musician, did not return to the cast of Baby Daddy. Last year, however, the teen media source Just Jared Jr. published a post about Gonino when she posted on Instagram an image of her with the cast, when she got the part.
— Celebrity News Feed (@_CelebNewsFeed_) September 3, 2015
But the picture has since been taken down from her Instagram profile.
Entertainment Weekly had also reported last year that ABC Family would be changing their name to Freeform, in order to get newer and younger viewers.
This would not be the first time the channel had undergone a name change, and for the same reason as they were previously called FOX Family in 2001.
Along with the addition of star Loni Anderson, who’s better known for her role as the receptionist in WKRP In Cincinnati, People Magazine has also reported on a guest appearance by Jess Cagle, who is also the editorial director of the magazine and better known for interviewing celebrities on the red carpet.
— Baby Daddy (@BabyDaddyTV) February 28, 2016
Loni Anderson’s addition to the Baby Daddy cast is a bold contrast from her life off camera, as she was in a troubled relationship with actor Burt Reynolds for over 20 years.
In 2014, TMZ filed on report on Loni which said that she was going after Reynolds to finish paying a divorce settlement left over from 1993.
The same source would finally report that the divorce was finalized when he finished paying the amount, plus interest, the following year.
In November, Reynolds released his memoir which talks about the relationship with Anderson — which had already been largely publicized for decades, saying that he regretted ever having married her; but no doubt reignited debate, as well as feelings, between the two.
The Star Tribune went as far as to ask a former love interest during the same month that the book was released to confirm Reynold’s claims.
Even so, with the settlement complete, Loni Anderson’s new role is her return to the television screen for the first time since she was in Tori Spelling’s So Notorious in 2006, which only lasted 10 episodes.
When she hasn’t been acting, she’s been a spokesperson for COPD Together, which works to care for those who have the chronic respiratory illness.
In a interview with Parade, Anderson talks about her parents with the disease and provides some of her own insight.
“It’s one of the fastest-growing diseases, probably because of the generation that smoked. Now the environment can also be a factor—what we breathe—and there is a small genetic risk factor.”
The interview also referred to another show coming out this year around the same time as Baby Daddy, where she has a bigger role.
As of this writing, there is no information as to whether she will have a regular role on Baby Daddy, but due to her relationship to the characters on the show, it could turn into something permanent.
[Featured image by Richard Shotwell | Invision | AP]