ABC's upcoming Roseanne-less spinoff The Conners has recast the role of D.J.'s wife, who briefly appeared in the prior sitcom's short-lived revival. It's been a roller coaster of a year for Roseanne, both the sitcom and its titular star. For much of the 90s, Roseanne was one of the top programs on TV, and looked to recapture that mantle following the enormous ratings received by the premiere of its 2018 revival. ABC quickly moved to renew the series for another season, but unfortunately, Roseanne Barr's notorious penchant for speaking without a filter ended up costing her in a big way.
In late-May, Barr drew horrified and disgusted reactions with a racially-charged Tweet seemingly likening former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. While Barr contested that interpretation, at one point even blaming her comment on Ambien, most didn't buy it, and ABC canceled Roseanne's planned season 11. Not wanting to completely lose the giant audience garnered by the sitcom though, the network opted to greenlight a Roseanne-less spinoff series entitled The Conners in June.
Likely feeling bad for the rest of the cast and crew that lost their jobs due to her comment, Barr stepped out of ABC's way, signing a deal ensuring that she wouldn't profit from or be in any way involved with The Conners. It remains to be seen how Roseanne's absence will addressed in-universe - although co-star John Goodman recently hinted that she'll likely be killed off - ABC is charging ahead with the spinoff, releasing a cryptic teaser that revealed nothing a couple weeks back. Now, a new ABC Tweet has revealed that at least one member of the Conner family is set to be recast for the spinoff. D.J.'s wife Geena will played going forward by Maya Lynne Robinson. Robinson can be seen below, alongside D.J. actor Michael Fishman and actress Jayden Rey, who plays their young daughter Mary.
Geena Conner was previously seen (played by actress Xosha Roquemore) via a Skype call during the Roseanne revival, as the character was serving in the U.S. military. She's now set to be a series regular, so one assumes she'll be returning home early in The Conners' first season. No reason has been given as to why producers decided to recast the role. While Geena has only been seen once as an adult, longtime Roseanne fans will remember that she and D.J. first met as kids, in an episode where D.J. was reluctant to kiss Geena in a school play due to her being black. Obviously, he got over whatever prejudice he might have had then.
Other than Roseanne herself and the above recasting, every member of the Conner family is onboard to reprise their roles for the spinoff. It'll be interesting to see just how much of the love for Roseanne's return was due to audiences being happy to see Barr's titular character back on TV, and how much was for the cast as a whole being back together. If it's the former, ABC may well be displeased when those who tuned into Roseanne season 10 don't return for The Conners.
The Conners premieres October 16 on ABC.