‘The Conners’: How Roseanne’s Death Affected Dan’s Role as a Father

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage)

Roseanne hit the television airwaves in 1989, fast becoming one of television’s biggest hits as it found award-winning success through the 1990s. The popular series later spawned a successful revival in 2017. Well, until some controversy led the series to make some major changes. Changes that would ultimately lead to another reboot of the popular show. Changing the series as we knew it from Roseanne to The Conners after the death of Roseanne Barr’s Roseanne Conner in the series.

The death of the television matriarch was tough on the Conner family, no doubt. However, it did give the remaining characters within the series a chance to grow in new directions as they come to grips with the loss. One of the Conner’s characters to make some major growth is John Goodman’s character, Roseanne’s husband, Dan Conner.

Losing his wife who was, for much of the show’s run, the heart of the edgy series, prompted Dan Conner to approach his role in the family very differently. Ultimately becoming more present as a parent than he had ever been before.

With the absence of Roseanne from The Conners, Dan has been able to grow within the family. Primarily as a father who is much more present. Additionally, Goodman’s character on The Conners has had more opportunity to show off his comedic abilities, now that the original lead character is no longer “running the show.”

‘The Conners’ Gives New Depth To Goodman’s Character

This, of course, gives Dan Conner much more depth than Roseanne fans have seen before The Conners. Granted, the series did take some time to make these transitions gradual. Especially as the family was mourning the death of their wife and mother during the show’s first few seasons.

The death of Roseanne on The Conners certainly led to quite a bit of growth in John Goodman’s character. It also led to some interesting storylines. Primarily a romance that fans never would have seen before the changes made in the series.

In recent seasons, Dan Conner found a new relationship in his former girlfriend, Louise, who is portrayed by Katy Segal. This gave quite a bit more depth to Dan and his overall storyline. However, a real-life accident seriously injured Katey Sagal prompting a brief absence from the series. This led to the television father and grandfather focusing on his children and grandchildren a little more. This, of course, is on top of the strides the television father made with his family in recent seasons.

When the Roseanne revival hit the air in 2017, fans were excited to welcome their favorite working-class family back into their living rooms. However, Roseanne Barr made a sudden exit from the series not long after the premiere when racist remarks by the star were uncovered.

As the series continued without its original star, the cast expanded to include Segal’s Louise. Louise finally went on to marry Dan Conner in the show’s fourth season.