‘The Conners’ Executive Producer Reveals Katey Sagal’s Return

by Allison Hambrick

The Conners executive producers Dave Caplan and Bruce Helford opened up about Katey Sagal coming back to the hit series. Back in October, Sagal was the victim of a hit and run by a Tesla in Los Angeles.

Though the driver did not stop, no citations or arrests were made by local law enforcement. At the time of her accident, her husband Kurt Sutter posted to his Instagram, saying “She’s the only one bringing in money right now… so I’ll be picking her up from the hospital later, taking her to that Dancing With the Stars audition.”

Sagal was in a rush to head back to work. Once the actress knew she would recover, she wasted no time trying to return to The Conners. The actress did, however, make a brief return for one episode prior to returning full time. Though she was clearly suffering, Caplan praised how she “toughed it out.”

“She was sidelined when she tried to tackle a car,” Helford quipped, before explaining that Sagal’s brief appearance is in episode 11, which will air on Jan. 19. “We had to do a scene with her where she was only sitting down because she wasn’t really fully walking.”  

As a result of her injuries, her full return was pushed back a few episodes.

“We understand she’s pretty well healed up and she’s making her return to the family in episode 14,” Helford continued. “We’re really happy that she’s back and happy that she’s safe and well… She’s anxious to get back to work.” 

The Conners EPs Tease What’s Next in Season Four

“There’s going to be some big surprises coming into this season about where some of the Conners’ relationships go,” Caplan stated.  While waiting for Sagal’s return, the showrunners teased what the rest of the season is going to look like.

“It’s a lot about the relationships,” Caplan continued. “And the Conners have had a tough go for so long and now a lot of them have a chance to find happiness. But with the Conners, it’s never that easy.” 

Every member of the family finds themselves in a predicament. Darlene is caught between starting a new romance and drama with her ex, Ben. Caplan explained that Darlene and Ben are “trying to live together more or less because he’s a part of the family in a way, but it’s complicated and messy and we love that.” Laurie Metcalfe’s Jackie copes with insecurities in her relationship with a younger man.“This has been such a rewarding and a great relationship for Jackie,” Caplan continued. The writer did note that Jackie’s demons will “pop to the surface now and again” and complicate things. 

Additionally, each Conner has a unique struggle. Darlene’s daughter Harris has her relationship with her boyfriend Aldo. Young Mark struggles to find the balance between school and his new boyfriend, which causes him to become dependent on pills. In a storyline the writers called “problematic,” Becky becomes involved with a college professor.

When Sagal returns, her storyline will likely involve her character, Louise, adjusting to her new marriage. Season four saw her officially become a Conner as she married the patriarch, Dan. Between her feud with Jackie and the dynamics of the family, it will be interesting to see how she fits into the fold.