The series premiere of ABC’s The Conners, the much-talked about Roseanne spinoff, is about a month away. But, little by little, news from the set keeps getting shared, keeping television viewers excited for the show’s start.
On Friday, September 14, it was revealed that one key character has been recast: D.J. Conner, played by Michael Fishman, is going to have a new wife.
During last season’s Roseanne reboot, actress Xosha Roquemore portrayed Geena Conner. But when The Conners debuts next month, actress Maya Lynne Robinson will be featured in the role.
Why the switch?
Although an official reason for the recast has not been given, it could be because the character will now be a series regular. Last season, on Roseanne, Geena was on active duty overseas in the military and the only time we saw her was during a Skype call. That left D.J. alone in Lanford, raising their only child, daughter Mary Conner (Jayden Rey). This season, the wife and mother returns to the United States to be with her family.
The Geena character was first introduced during Season 7 of Roseanne way back in 1994. The classic episode, “White Men Can’t Kiss,” featured a storyline in which D.J. would not kiss Geena, his classmate, in a scene for the school play because she was black.
Robinson’s new gig on the The Conners was announced on Twitter.
“The little girl that D.J. was reluctant to kiss is all grown up,” the show’s social media team wrote. They also shared two photographs of D.J.’s new, happy family.
Then, Fishman responded to the tweet. “That little boy who was reluctant to kiss Geena grew up into the man who loves her most,” he said on Twitter.
“So excited to join this family,” Robinson exclaimed on her Twitter page.
According to her official website, the five-foot, five-inch actress, who received a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater performance from Ohio University, has appeared in television and web shows like HTMAST, Gurl, Dead Women Walking, and Mom. She has also been active in the theater scene, performing in productions like A Streetcar Named Desire, Runaway Home, and Metamorphoses.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Maya Lynne Robinson to the cast this season,” said Bruce Helford, The Conners showrunner and executive producer, according to Deadline.
“[Maya’s] character, 2nd Lieutenant Geena Conner, whom a younger D.J. was reluctant to kiss in his school play, comes full circle as his wife and Mary’s mother, bringing back a little piece of Conner history. Yet, while Geena is no stranger to the family, viewers old and new will enjoy seeing how her ‘military-style’ discipline meshes with the Conners’ more laid-back attitude.”
The Conners, which also stars John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, and Lecy Goranson, premieres on ABC on Tuesday, October 16, at 8 p.m. ET.