Fall TV Preview

The Conners' Michael Fishman Breaks Silence on Exit, Confirms, 'I Was Told I Would Not Be Returning for Season 5'

Michael Fishman is opening up about his departure from The Conners.

As TVLine exclusively reported, the Roseanne star is leaving the spinoff ahead of Season 5. Now, in a statement provided to People.com, Fishman is reflecting on the profound impact the role of DJ has had on his life.

“It has been my honor to play DJ Conner,” Fishman said. “It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics. The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic castmates, while reaching fans in meaningful ways has profoundly impacted my life. I am proud of the work I did as part of Roseanne and The Conners. Especially the privilege of playing a military veteran, interracial spouse, and the father of a biracial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey.

“While I was told I would not be returning for Season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn and develop,” he continued. “I was incredibly lucky to return home and demonstrate my expansion. As I venture into the world to build the future, I send tremendous love and success to everyone involved in production.”

Although there are no current plans for Fishman to appear in the upcoming fifth season, we’re told the door has been left open for the character’s return.

Though Fishman had been billed as a series regular for the entirety of The Conners‘ first four seasons, DJ only appeared 36 of the spinoff’s 71 episodes. He took on a more active role behind the scenes, directing five episodes of the ABC comedy.

He made his debut as Roseanne and Dan’s son in Episode 2 of Roseanne, having succeeded original child actor Sal Barone, who appeared as DJ in the 1988 pilot. Fishman played DJ from ages 6 to 15, then returned for the 2018 revival.

Returning to The Conners for Season 5 are John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky), Emma Kenney (Harris), Ames McNamara (Mark), Rey (Mary) and Jay R. Ferguson (Ben). Katey Sagal continues to recur as Dan’s second wife Louise.

The Conners Season 5 kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 21 at its new time, 8/7c, on ABC.

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