The Conners star Michael Fishman (DJ Conner) isn't ruling out a possible Roseanne Barr cameo in the offshoot via flashback scenes. The spinoff didn't waste any time establishing Roseanne's death of opioid overdose - a convenient way to write off the character after it was established in the short-lived Roseanne revival that the family matriarch had developed a painkiller addiction.
Following the titular character's exit and the show's rebranding, The Conners seems to be smoothly moving on with John Goodman (Dan Conner) - who personally thanked Barr for allowing the spinoff to happen - leading the way. However, when it comes to it, the door of opportunity regarding Barr's possible cameo is still open, at least according to Fishman.
Catching up with Variety at PaleyFest New York before The Conners aired its first episode, Fishman was asked about his thoughts on the possibility of a Roseanne cameo via flashbacks saying “never say never.” The actor continued championing his former castmate but admitted that there are no conversations about bringing the actress to the spinoff yet.
“You know, at the current time, we haven’t really discussed that, but that’s one of those things, I would say, never say never. I’m a big believer in second chances and forgiveness. I think that’s a really big thing, and I think this country is kind of built on that. People go through a lot of things, people make mistakes, everybody makes mistakes. The most successful people in our world aren’t the ones who don’t make mistakes, but the ones who learn the most from them.”
Fishman also talked about his relationship with Barr following her firing back in May leading to the original sitcom's cancellation. Unlike some of the other actors from Roseanne, whose relationship with the actress has soured after the scandal, Fishman said that he's in constant communication with his ex-castmate.
“I reached out to her the day all this happened. We’ve had interaction back and forth…and we’ve had private discourse going back and forth, but I really don’t think it’s appropriate for me to share that. What I would say is we’ve all worked with her a long time. We all have known or cared about somebody who said or did something that we didn’t always necessary agree with. That’s what families do, and how you deal with that, is you tell each other how much you care about each other, but you’re honest about the things you disagree on.”
ABC has declined to comment on Fishman's latest statement. Despite the controversy that spawned the sitcom's revival, the broadcast station made it clear earlier this month that they do not regret bringing back the series - which makes sense considering the short-lived revival immediately became a rating monster for the network. It also resulted in The Conners spinoff which is doing great in terms of viewership shares - only bested by NBC's This Is Us during its series premiere last Tuesday night. Of course, it remains to be seen if the offshoot's success will continue past people's initial wave of interest knowing what led to its creation, but with the right narrative coupled with a tried and tested cast, its chances of consistently performing for ABC is relatively high.