‘The Conners’: How Original ‘Roseanne’ Star’s Exit Affects the Show

by Joe Rutland

TV shows go through some changes from season to season and it appears that The Conners are joining that parade. One of the show’s original stars, Michael Fishman, will not be around in Season 5. Of course, Fishman has been around as DJ since the days of Roseanne.

But there has been some time between him appearing regularly and less than regularly. For instance, the character was pretty consistent in the first two seasons of The Conners. In the past two seasons, though, there have been fewer DJ sightings. Reportedly, Fishman is changing his focus from acting to directing.

How Will ‘The Conners’ Handle Michael Fishman’s Exit?

In fact, he has directed a number of episodes of The Conners and this will continue. Now, the central question becomes how does this departure affect the show overall? Since he has been rather inconsistently showing up as DJ, it might not affect The Conners that much.

The storylines have been getting more focused on other characters. Even if it is an episode or two looking at Jackie’s life, then it takes attention away from a possible DJ look. How will the show go on and talk about DJ’s departure? Now, will the show address this matter? Obviously, shows have their plans made out before the season begins. We will have to wait and see what the writers come up with as a plot.

Actress Jayden Rey plays DJ’s daughter Mary and she will be coming back as a series regular. Others who will be back, of course, include John Goodman, Lecy Goranson, Sara Gilbert, and Katey Sagal. It will be interesting to see how Mary has a role in the show going forward. We also might even see a spot or two where Geena, who is DJ’s wife, pops up on the show as well.

Now, we also have heard from Fishman about his departure. He issued a statement that happened to be shared by People Magazine. Fishman did say that he was told that he would not be a part of Season 5 for The Conners. “The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic castmates, while reaching fans in meaningful ways has profoundly impacted my life,” Fishman said. “I am proud of the work I did as part of Roseanne and The Conners. Especially the privilege of playing a Military Veteran, Interracial Spouse, and the father of a Bi-racial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey.”

Watching Fishman grow up over the years has been definitely a part of the longtime fans’ journey. As many know, The Conners was created out of the remnants of a Roseanne reboot. That original idea went out the door after star Roseanne Barr made some statements that did not sit well with the network.