‘The Conners’ Producers Tease Return of Fan-Favorite ‘Roseanne’ Character

by Suzanne Halliburton

The Conners is a modern-day comedy that gets its energy from 1990s-era nostalgia. And fans, know that a character from back in the day is about to re-emerge.

Yes, someone from Roseanne is about to appear on The Conners. But we’re not sure who that may be. TV Line talked to The Conners executive producers Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan to preview season five. The discussion went back to the Roseanne days. After all, the new show still is about the life of Dan Conner and his friends and family. Roseanne Barr is the only one missing from the cast.

Helford told TV Line that he couldn’t reveal which character is coming back. That would spoil the surprise, right? “It was a very memorable appearance when this person was there, and this person is coming back,” Helford said. And Helford also might be playing a game of semantics. He told the TV Line reporter not to read too much into the word appearance.

“I think people are going to be very surprised and go, ‘Oh s–t!’” Helford said. “It’s someone who will very much be remembered from the previous show.”

Caplan offered, “It’s one that the true fans are really going to appreciate.” So who could that be?

The Connors Already Rid Itself of an Original Character

Maybe The Conners producers are giving fans back a character after taking one away. News recently broke that Michael Fishman, who played D.J. as a kid in the original show and then as an adult in the reboot, won’t be coming back to The Conners. The show will explain that D.J. is with his wife, who is in the military.

“He’s visiting [Geena], who right now is stationed overseas,” Helford told TV Line. “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 didn’t rule out a return for D.J. But Fishman, who also directed some of the episodes, said the bosses told him old his exit is permanent.

Since the reboot premiered in 2018, a number of Roseanne cast members returned for the revival. Sarah Chalke, who played the second Becky, even returned as new character, Andrea. Helford said to look to the beginning of Roseanne for a clue.

The Conners cast members from first season. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Maybe it’s somebody like Tom Arnold, Roseanne’s real-life ex-husband. He was a recurring character for three seasons, playing the husband of Nancy (Sandra Bernhard). And speaking of husbands, maybe Jackie’s first will make a comeback. Jackie was married to Fred (Michael O’Keefe) in seasons six through eight.

Or maybe the character who hops back into The Conners life is Leon (Martin Mull). He was Roseanne’s boss at the diner.

Fans of The Conners will know soon enough. The show premieres Sept. 21.