HomeEntertainment‘The Conners’ Had to Explain Multiple ‘Roseanne’ Characters’ Absences: Here’s How They Handled It

‘The Conners’ Had to Explain Multiple ‘Roseanne’ Characters’ Absences: Here’s How They Handled It

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

It’s safe to say that the hit ABC series The Conners has had quite a complicated history.

With one entire original series airing from 1988 until 1997; then a new season of said series premiering twenty years later, followed by the creation of the brand-new “spin-off” version of the original series, the history of The Conners is one for the books.

When Roseanne premiered in 1988, the series introduced us to the brash Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr), her husband Dan, children Becky, Darlene, and DJ, and her sister Jackie.

During Roseanne’s nine-season run, the series saw many twists and turns. It even included the working-class family, the Conners, who were often struggling to meet financial requirements, win millions in the lottery. This bright spot was followed, tragically, by the unexpected death of Roseanne’s husband, and the family patriarch, Dan Conner.

Was It All Just a Dream?

But, what if we told you, the lottery, Dan’s death, and many other plot lines developed in Roseanne’s ninth season never even occurred?

Then, what if the series finds a second-life twenty years later when Roseanne premieres a tenth season? Followed by the creation of an entirely new show, The Conners. That’s quite a background for one series.

This is certainly a lot to keep track of. And, of course, some characters from all three versions of the popular ABC shows have gotten lost in the shuffle. However, writers for The Conners are right on top of some of the most confusing disappearances.

One of the most notable absences when the series debuted a new season twenty years after the original series finale, was that of Becky Conner’s husband, Mark.

Mark’s absence was acknowledged in the tenth season of Roseanne which premiered in 2017, how he passed was never addressed.

Then, in The Conner’s third season, Becky mentions that her husband had died in a tragic motorcycle accident. The actor who portrayed Mark in the original series, Glenn Quinn, passed away in 2002 due to an overdose.

How Many Children Do the Conner’s Have?

Another confusing disappearance on the series is that of Dan and Roseanne Conner’s fourth child, Jerry Garcia. The youngest of the Conner’s was born late in the series’ first nine seasons, after the couple’s other three children, Becky, Darlene, and DJ were much older.

When Roseanne returned to the airwaves for its tenth season in 2017, this younger Conner child was mentioned in passing when Roseanne noted that Jerry was “holed up on a fishing boat in Alaska.”

However, when Roseanne was canceled when the title character was killed off, this youngest Conner never made an appearance.

Then, in the third season of the Roseanne spin-off, The Conners, the oldest of the Conner children, Becky, says to her dad that she is one of the couple’s three children. While this comment leads viewers to quite a few questions, The Conners’ creators still assert that Jerry could still return to the show.

“Dan said he only had three children, but is he so angry at Jerry, for something we learn about later, that he denies him as a son?” Helford mentioned in 2020. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

See? Confusing, right? Well, there’s more.

In the final seasons of Roseanne’s original run, the title character’s sister, Jackie, was married to a man named Fred. The couple had a son named Andy. However, when Roseanne’s tenth season premiered in 2017, neither Jackie’s husband nor her child was mentioned at all. The reason for this, notes the show’s creators, is actually quite simple. They never existed.

‘The Conners’ Includes Some Confusing Storylines

When certain aspects of Roseanne’s first run were revealed to be a dream, a lot of plotlines disappeared. Including Jackie’s husband and son.

“We made a conscious decision that certain years were going to be part of the dream that was revealed at the end of the run of the original Roseanne,” said Helford.

“Andy fell into the same category for us as winning the lottery,” he added. “Something we chose not to acknowledge.”

And, by this reasoning, producers explain Fred never existed in the real timeline either.