The Conner family will be back together this fall—minus matriarch Roseanne, that is. Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, and Jayden Rey, who played Roseanne and Dan Conners’ grandchildren Harris, Mark, and Mary on the Roseanne revival earlier this year, will all return for The Conners spinoff, TV Line reports. All three of the young stars will join the Roseanne off-shoot as series regulars alongside fellow returning cast members John Goodman (Dan), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Lecy Goranson (Becky), and Michael Fishman (DJ).
Kenney’s return is especially interesting. The teen actress, who plays Darlene Conner and David Healy’s daughter, Harris, on the show, previously revealed that she had planned to quit the Roseanne revival before ABC announced it was canceling the series over series star Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweet about Valerie Jarrett.
“As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was canceled,” Emma Kenney tweeted in May, per Entertainment Tonight. “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
Now, Kenney says she’s excited to join The Conners.
“The Conners are a family of acceptance and loyalty and I feel blessed to be able to help tell their story. I’m really excited to start this new chapter in mine and Harris’ life.”
The new casting announcement also marks a promotion for Jayden Rey, who was a recurring guest star last season. Barr previously expressed remorse over how her actions may have affected her TV granddaughter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, after Roseanne was canceled by ABC, Barr tweeted, “The saddest part of all is 4 Jayden Rey on the show whom I grew2 love so much & am so ashamed of myself that she would ever think I do not love her bc she is African American. It’s the most gawd awful painful thing.”
Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC after her tweet about Jarrett in May, and her top-rated show was promptly canceled by the network shortly before a spinoff announced. The former ABC star walked away from all financial and creative stake in The Conners, the 10-episode spinoff of the top-rated series. ABC’s synopsis for The Conners reads, “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.”
An insider told Closer Weekly that Roseanne’s absence will not be an ongoing storyline and that the network wants a “clean break” from the Conner matriarch, but many Roseanne fans think the synopsis means Barr’s iconic character will be killed off when The Conners spinoff picks up. In the Season 10 finale, Roseanne Conner was battling an opioid dependency and headed for a serious surgery, so some fans think that somehow be the cause of her demise.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, John Goodman recently suggested in an interview with The Sunday Times that Barr’s character will be killed off, saying that his character Dan will “be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
The Conners will premiere Tuesday, October 16 on ABC.