‘The Conners’: How the Show Will Write Out Michael Fishman in Season 5

by Tia Bailey

It was recently announced that Michael Fishman would no longer be on The Conners. Fans have been worried, so the executive producer of the show revealed how they plan to write his character out.

Fishman recently shared a statement about his non-return to the show with PEOPLE. “It has been my honor to play D.J. Conner,” Fishman said. “It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics.”

Executive producer Bruce Helford spoke to TV Line in order to explain how they plan to write his character, DJ, out. He did so ahead of the season 5 premiere.

“He’s visiting [Geena], who right now is stationed overseas,” Helford said. “She was involved in the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and she is still overseas on assignment, so he is going to be going over and spending time with his wife…. It does get addressed in the first few episodes.”

Helford said that the cast and crew “loves” Fishman.

“We love him,” he said. “He’s part of the family. There’s certainly no one saying he will never be on the show [again]. It’s just a matter of whether storylines come up that are built for that.”

Fishman revealed in his statement that he was “told” he would not be returning, much to fans’ dismay.

Michael Fishman Not Returning to ‘The Conners’ Season 5

“The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic castmates, while reaching fans in meaningful ways has profoundly impacted my life. 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,” Fishman’s statement continued.

Although he is leaving, “the door will remain open for the actor to return someday if he chooses.” They will do this with the story arc explaining his absence, according to PEOPLE.

Fishman has been on the show since it began, and was a regular cast member on the original show, Roseanne. He portrayed Roseanne’s son, DJ Conner. In the new series, his character was a military veteran, part of an interracial couple, and had a bi-racial child. These are all storylines that he prides himself upon.

“While I wholeheartedly will miss Friday night tapings in front of our loyal audiences, alongside our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities coming in the next chapter of my career,” he continued. “While I was told I would not be returning for season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn and develop. I was incredibly lucky to return home and demonstrate my expansion. As I venture into the world to build the future, I send tremendous love and success to everyone involved in production.”

Season 5 of the show premieres on September 21.