With rumors circulating that Laurie Metcalf may leave The Conners, fans are concerned that the TV series may not survive another major character exit.
The actress has not explicitly stated whether or not she plans to continue working on the Roseanne reboot. However, she has been eying other projects that could potentially take her away from the story.
It’s possible that she will only have to take a short leave while filming her side series, which would be easy for the producers to handle. They’d simply write her out of a string of episodes much like they did for Katey Sagal last season. But if Metcalf decides to move on with her career entirely, The Conners may cease to exist.
‘The Conners’ Relies on Jackies Quirky Antics
From the start of the franchise, Laurie Metcalf, Dan Goodman, and Roseanne Barr were the lead stars. And when ABC fired Roseanne in 2018, the series almost didn’t survive a retooling. So fans may lose interest if yet another character walks away.
In the two shows, Metcalf’s Jackie has been the long-standing comedic relief. While the other characters are hilarious in their own right, Jackie has been one of the only off-the-wall family members to play off of the other characters’ more straight personas.
We’ve seen a few other quirky personalities with Mark Healy and Beverly Harris. But none have been as withstanding as Jackie. And one of her most endearing qualities is that she’s steadfast in being a lighthearted person alongside the other more serious and heavy storylines.
In the reboot and even the original series, the other characters have weathered many horrifying yet relatable storms. Before the revival twisted the ending of the original series, Roseanne grieved after her Dan died of a heart attack. And when The Conners picked back up, Dan had to mourn the loss of Roseanne instead. Becky also battled alcoholism while Darleen fought with her children, one of who became addicted to ADD medication.
But all the while, Jackie was keeping the story cheerful with her funnier and less serious life issues. In fact, one of the only emotional plots she had was in the earlier seasons of Roseanne when she was faced with domestic abuse.
So it’s unlikely that The Conners would be able to continue without her quirky antics. However, there is always a slim chance that the series could pull off a hail mary. Though, if it tried, it would likely have to follow suit and kill the character off as it did with Roseanne. Because recasting a major star like Laurie Metcalf would almost certainly spell doom.