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Exclusive: 'Private Practice' upgrades Brian Benben

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brian-private-practiceImage Credit: Danny Feld/ABCShonda Rhimes must be upping the wackadoodle quotient next season on Private Practice, because the boss lady is adding a second full-time psychiatrist to the payroll. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Brian Benben — a.k.a. head doc Sheldon Wallace — has been promoted to a full-fledged series regular.

Benben joined the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off on a recurring basis in season 2 as the resident shrink at Oceanside’s rival practice, Pacific Wellcare. When Doc Wallace isn’t offering Addison free counseling in the elevator, he’s jumping into doomed romances with fellow therapist Violet and, more recently, Charlotte.

What do you think Rhimes has in store for Sheldon in season 4? Perhaps he’ll persuade Addison to formalize their doctor-patient relationship (lord knows her romance with Sam will give her lots to talk about). And more important, are you happy Benben is now an official member of the cast? Sound off below!