2:34pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Conners' Adds Another Series Regular
ABC's Roseanne-less Roseanne spinoff The Conners is adding to its central family.
Relative newcomer Maya Lynne Robinson (Mom) has boarded the ABC offshoot as a series regular. Robinson will take over the role of DJ's (Michael Fishman) wife and Mary's (Jayden Rey) mother, Geena Williams-Conner, replacing Xosha Roquemore in the role. The character was first introduced in a 1996 episode of the original comedy.
Speaking with reporters after the Roseanne finale in May, showrunner Bruce Helford signaled that the new season would further explore DJ's relationship with his wife, who was serving in the military and stationed abroad. The character is the same girl the teenage DJ didn't want to kiss because she was black.
The casting signals that ABC's Roseanne continuation will continue its original course while also writing in the presumed death of fired star Roseanne Barr. Star John Goodman previously indicated that Barr's character was to be killed off. ABC has yet to offer any sense of how her absence will be addressed.
The Conners, which bows Oct. 16 on ABC, will see Geena return home from active duty overseas in Afghanistan.
"We’re thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Maya Lynne Robinson to the cast this season. Her character, 2nd Lieutenant Geena Conner, whom a younger DJ was reluctant to kiss in his school play, comes full circle as his wife and Mary’s mother, bringing back a little piece of Conner history," Helford said in a statement announcing the casting Friday. "Yet, while Geena is no stranger to the family, viewers old and new will enjoy seeing how her 'military-style' discipline meshes with the Conners’ more laid-back attitude.”
Robinson joins a cast of returning series regulars Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky), Fishman, Emma Kenney (Harris), Ames McNamara (Mark) and Rey.
Robinson is repped by BRS-Gage and Principal Entertainment.