Roseanne Spinoff Is Not Bringing Back A Main Character
That's too bad.
In an odd turn of events, it appears ABC fired The Conners actor Michael Fishman from the series, according to a statement from the actor released today. In a report by Deadline, Fishman stated that “I was told I would not be returning for season 5,” which is a different take from earlier reports that seemed to indicate he was leaving the show of his own accord. Fishman has portrayed DJ Conner, the son of Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan Connor (John Goodman) since the second episode of Roseanne aired in 1988. He appeared in 229 Roseanne episodes across ten seasons, and reprised the character for 36 episodes of The Connors, the spinoff of the original series.
“It has been my honor to play D.J. Conner. It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular,” Fishman told Deadline. “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.” The fifth season of The Connors premieres on ABC on September 21, and it is not clear how Fishman’s departure from the show will be handled on-screen.
Fishman is the second original Roseanne cast member to be fired from the series, after Roseanne Barr was fired from her own show in 2018 after making racially insensitive comments about Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to President Barack Obama. Fishman’s departure does not come with any personal scandal involved, but considering his role on the show, his firing may indicate there is more to the story. His statement indicated he hopes to pursue other opportunities in Hollywood, indicating his removal from the show was not due to a lack of availability or willingness to work. Fishman literally grew up on the show, having first joined the cast at age of seven. He is now 40 and a divorced father of two.
After Roseanne Barr was fired, her show was canceled and the remaining cast members returned for a restructured version of the show that fall, titled The Connors. In the new show, Roseanne’s character had died, and the show focused on John Goodman’s character of Dan, alongside Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson, and Fishman, all reprising their characters. Lecy Goranson, Emma Kenney, and Ames McNamara also appear on the show. The show has also featured a number of notable guest stars, including Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd. Strangely, while Fishman is no longer on the show, the actress that plays his daughter on The Conners, Jayden Rey, will continue to appear in the series as a main cast member.
Fishman’s work on The Connors also included directing five episodes for the series. He got his start in acting at the age of six, and appeared in several small TV roles and commercials, including Walker: Texas Ranger and Seinfeld. He also had a small role in Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence. Away from the set, Fishman has been involved in a number of charitable causes, some of which date back to his Roseanne days. They include Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross, Special Olympics, MADD, RADD, D.A.R.E International, The Human Society, and World Wildlife Fund. He also founded a charitable group called WeComend, which seeks to provide aid to underserved parts of our society.