Katey Sagal is not leaving Lanford without a fight (or at the very least an impassioned plea to The Powers That Be).
In the wake of the Married With Children vet’s ABC drama Rebel scoring a 10-episode series order, The Conners‘ showrunner Bruce Helford reveals to TVLine that Sagal sent him a note insisting that the new gig would not preclude her from continuing in her role as Dan’s main squeeze Louise.
“The first thing that Katey did [after Rebel was picked up] was send us an email saying, ‘Do not hire a new girlfriend for Dan — I am not abdicating my role,'” Helford recalls with a laugh, before acknowledging that the actress’ juggling act will not be easy. “Rebel starts production in early November [so] it’s going to be tough for her because she’s going to be doing double production. So there will be some conflict. But we’ll work on Saturdays [if we need to]. We intend for Louise to be around all season.”
That much will become clear when the Roseanne spinoff returns this week and viewers learn that Louise has full-on moved into the Conners’ already-crowded household amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We couldn’t have Louise buzzing in and out whenever she wants, so she’s quarantining with the family,” Helford reveals, adding that the new living arrangement is a big adjustment for her. “She was a musician and always on the road. And she never got married and didn’t have kids. She’s used to living alone.”
The Conners‘ third season launches on a new night and time — Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 9/8c — on ABC.