For a show that’s very much in the style of a classic sitcom, Fran Drescher’s Happily Divorced is surprisingly contemporary: A married couple split after the husband comes out of the closet, but keep living together because the house won’t sell. Throw in the fact that Happily Divorced is based on Drescher’s real-life relationship with her now-out ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, and you’ve got some groundbreaking TV.
But until now Fran’s TV husband, also named Peter (John Michael Higgins), has had a rather lackluster love life. On Wednesday night, Peter gets his first official boyfriend—in the form of Colin Ferguson, until recently the gorgeous star of SyFy’s Eureka.
Ferguson is no stranger to sitcoms but, having worked on Eureka for the past six years, he says it was definitely an adjustment. “I was scared—genuinely frightened,” the charming Canadian admits. “I’ve been doing a single-camera dramedy for years, and you get comfortable. Doing the run-throughs was terrifying. I kept praying that one of the show’s heavy hitters would make a flub first.”
Fortunately, Ferguson says Drescher and the cast made him feel right at home: “Fran really sets the tone on the show, and she’s a dream to work with. So welcoming and complimentary. She even sent me a lovely letter after we finished shooting. Who does that?”
Though he’s new to TV Land, Ferguson is no stranger to gay-themed projects. He appeared in the queer black comedy The Opposite of Sex and Armistead Maupin fans will remember him from Showtime’s 1998 adaptation of More Tales of the City. “It’s been a major shift since Tales,” says Ferguson. “In a sense I was there at the beginning—when network TV would never touch a show with a gay main character. It’s really great that its not that big a deal anymore. There isn’t a show out there that doesn’t have a gay character.”
The fate of Ferguson’s character, Chris, is left open at the end of Wednesday’s episode—but the actor tells us he’ll definitely be back on Happily Divorced. “I signed for another episode—I think it’s the season finale,” he reveals. “But we all had such a good time and it all clicked so well, I think Chris could pop up again after that.”
If Fran Drescher knows her gays—and we think she does—she’ll sign Colin on as a series regular.