They’ll be partying in Lanford tonight: ABC has renewed The Conners for Season 2. A source confirms that the order is for 13 episodes, up from Season 1’s 11.
Word of the official pickup comes after the network closed deals with primary cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert and Lecy Goranson, all of whom secured significant salary bumps as well as a piece of the back end. (Goodman, Metcalf and Gilbert will now reportedly earn $375K an episode, up from $250K for Season 1; Goranson, meanwhile, is now said to be pocketing $165K an episode, which amounts to a double-digit increase.)
And what about the rest of the ensemble? Ames McNamara, who plays Darlene and David’s son Mark, will be back as a regular. But there are no deals currently in place for Michael Fishman (D.J.), Emma Kenney (Darlene and David’s daughter Harris), Maya Lynne Robinson (D.J.’s wife Geena) or Jayden Rey (D.J. and Geena’s daughter Mary), although all are expected to appear in some capacity. The same goes for Johnny Galecki, who recently told TVLine that he hopes to bring David back “as much as possible,” adding, “That’s kind of my second home… I still have a bit of a high school crush on that character.”
Behind the scenes, Bruce Helford will return as showrunner/EP. Gilbert also serves as an EP.
Averaging 7.5 million weekly viewers and nearly a 1.6 demo rating across its 11-episode freshman run (in Live+Same Day numbers), the Roseanne-less Roseanne offshoot stands as ABC’s top-rated comedy and its No. 3-rated program overall (trailing The Bachelor and Grey’s Anatomy). As such, and as TVLine noted back in December, its renewal was a fait accompli.
“We are proud to be continuing the story of the iconic Conners family,” said Karey Burke, ABC’s President of Entertainment, in a statement. “This team is fearless in their willingness to tackle contemporary issues with humor and heart, and I have no doubt they will continue to outdo themselves.”