The Conners cast is currently shooting the debut season of the Roseanne spinoff, and the absence of the family matriarch will obviously be addressed in the premiere episode. But series star Emma Kenney, who plays rebellious teen Harris Conner Healy on the ABC comedy, says it’s business as usual in the aftermath of Roseanne Barr’s firing from the sitcom she helped create.
Kenney told Us Weekly she is “so excited” to reprise her role as Harris, the teenage daughter of David Healy and Darlene Conner (Johnny Galecki, Sara Gilbert) on The Conners.
“The first table read was great. It was so nice to see everyone, and I’m so happy. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
Kenney also weighed in on how The Conners will handle the absence of Barr’s iconic matriarch character, explaining there are many other stories to tell about the beloved TV family.
“I think that all of us are very professional. And there’s just so many more stories that need to be told through the Conner family and so many other different aspects of life that we’re going to get to tell, and I’m really excited and grateful for that.”
Kenney told Us that as far as her character goes, viewers last saw the struggling teen trying to fit into small-town Lanford, Illinois, after moving there from Chicago with her mom, Darlene, and younger brother, Mark. (She also got into an epic fight with her Granny Rosie which resulted in her getting her head doused in the kitchen sink!) The 18-year-old actress said she is now hoping that Harris “will find more connections within her family” in the spinoff series.
After Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC for posting an offensive tweet about former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, Emma Kenney revealed she had called her agent to quit Roseanne but found out the hit show was being axed anyway.
“As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I was told it was canceled,” Kenney tweeted in May. “I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”
In happier times, Emma Kenney seemed grateful to be working with television icon Roseanne Barr. Before Barr’s Twitter scandal in late May, Kenney told Entertainment Tonight that her TV grandmom was “the coolest.”
“She gives you the best notes on set,” Kenney told ET of Barr. “It’s just a very collaborative set.”
The Conners premieres Tuesday, October 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.