The Conners won’t be killing off another character anytime soon. Nearly two years after the off-camera death of Conner matriarch Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), the showrunner for the ABC spinoff confirms that Dan’s (John Goodman) new love interest Louise (Katey Sagal) is safe.
Dan and Louise’s slow-moving relationship recently became official, despite Goodman’s previous reluctance about the direction of the character and efforts to remain faithful to the memory of Roseanne. Now that Dan and Louise are a full-fledged couple, The Conners executive producer Bruce Helford told TVLine the widower won’t lose another love.
“After all the work [we did getting them together]? Yeah. We don’t want to have to kill anybody else off.”
Helford admitted that the writers took things slow with Dan and Louise out of respect for Goodman, who felt strongly about his character moving on to a new relationship after his 45-year marriage to Roseanne.
Producer Bruce Rasmussen explained that when The Conners debuted, producers spoke to Goodman about plans for Dan’s future.
“We talked to him about how slow we were gonna go and he was absolutely thinking about Roseanne [and Dan’s] relationship. But as we went along, Katey was so great; we could see John starting to have fun with her and bounce off of her. I think he’s a lot more comfortable now.”
As for Louise’s relationship with Dan’s adult kids, there haven’t been any complications — yet. But producers for the spinoff series teased that there will be “plenty” of complications to come now that Dan’s relationship is official and someone else will be part of the decision-making in his life.
Fans of The Conners have already seen Louise by Dan’s side much in the way that Roseanne was. In the Season 2 finale, titled “Bridge over Troubled Conners,” Louise accompanied her new man to the bank as he tried to get an extension on his late mortgage payments. When Dan’s longtime banker friend Jim admitted he couldn’t help him out this time, Lousie showed shades of Roseanne when she angrily swiped back the ham that Dan had brought as a gift.
Fans first met Louise in the Season 1 episode, titled “O Sister, Where Art Thou.” She was introduced as a former high school classmate of Dan and the late Roseanne who returned to Lanford after a failed music career. At the time, Louise worked as a bartender at Casita Bonita, the same Mexican restaurant Becky Conner (Lecy Goranson) was waitressing at.
After a flirty Louise admitted to Dan that she’s had a crush on him since she was 15 but Roseanne already had her hands on him, the still-grieving Conner patriarch said he still had a “thing” for his wife.
By the tail end of Season 2, the slow-moving romance finally came to fruition.