Michael Fishman opens up about his abrupt exit from The Connors spin-off ahead of Season 5.
According to a statement from Fishman’s team to PEOPLE, it appears that it was his call to quit the show.
“While I was told I would not be returning for season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn, and develop,” Fishman stated in a part of a long reply statement.
“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.”
Fishman originally appeared as D.J. Conner on Roseanne in 1988 and stayed on for nine seasons of the sitcom until it ended in 1997.
He later returned for ABC’s 2018 revival season alongside veteran co-stars like Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, and Laurie Metcalf before the network changed its title to The Conners in the wake of disputes circulating on Barr.
EW found out on Monday that Fishman would not be returning to The Conners for the upcoming season 5, but the chances of future guest appearances are high and plausible.
“It has been my honor to play D.J. Conner. It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics,” Fishman said.
“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.”
The actor said, “I pride myself on professionalism, building lifelong connections, and making meaningful friends through production. Demonstrating my skills through the first few years of The Conners, culminating in the opportunity to direct ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Election vs. The Pandemic.’
“That successful collaboration earned me four more opportunities as a director last season. I achieved a dream with lifelong friends, propelling me toward another aspect of my career that comes with endless possibilities.”
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Fishman Sees the Bright Side
Goodman, Metcalf, Gilbert, and Lecy Goranson, alongside Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, and Jay R. Ferguson, will all come back for the fifth season of The Conners. Katey Sagal will also still play the role of Louise, the second wife of Dan.
Fishman remains to be positive.
“While I wholeheartedly will miss Friday night tapings in front of our loyal audiences, alongside our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities coming in the next chapter of my career,” he stated.
“I have a number of projects I am pitching as a writer and am negotiating my next directing opportunities. Although I no longer have the privilege to portray D.J., my desire, passion, and skill of bringing characters to life as an actor continues. I appreciate all those who support and have supported my work.”
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