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Is Michael Fishman Really Leaving The Conners?

Across 14 seasons of both "Roseanne" and "The Conners," the three children of Dan and Roseanne Conner (John Goodman and Roseanne Barr, respectively) have brilliantly rounded out the generational divides between parents and the interpersonal dynamics with their kids. During the first nine seasons of "Roseanne," Darlene (Sara Gilbert), Becky (Lecy Goranson), and D.J. (Michael Fishman) were the Generation X and Millennial kids that grappled with the struggles of being young in the late-1980s and 1990s. With the premiere of Season 10 in 2018 and its subsequent spin-off "The Conners," all three former child actors reflected how those generations navigated the differences in a post-9/11, post-Great Recession United States that occurred between the gap. As the youngest of the three actors, D.J was always more reserved and quiet, which is why it was unique to see his character talk and interact more in Season 10 and on "The Conners."

After Season 9 of "Roseanne" ended in 1997, Fishman was a kid actor that stayed the course in the business and even worked as a production designer and technical adviser on many TV shows (via IMDb). When "Roseanne" returned in 2018, the actor gave us new insights into D.J. we never knew existed. But after four seasons on "The Conners," the actor is about to change the dynamic of the series in a major way.

Michael Fishman to depart The Conners after four seasons

According to Entertainment Tonight, Michael Fishman will not return for Season 5 of ABC's "The Conners" upon its premiere on September 21. The news is followed by a further exit from the show with the character of Mary Conner (Jayden Rey), D.J.'s daughter, also leaving the show after the fourth season. This news follows the ending of Season 4, which saw D.J. struggling to raise Mary after his wife, Geena, was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of Season 1. Although it is not known if Fishman will appear in a guest starring capacity or exactly how his character's absence will be explained, it has been confirmed that Rey will do so in the upcoming fifth season. Having only appeared in 36 of 71 episodes of the series, it could be that he wishes to scale back his appearances even further.

Although the actor's departure from the series is sudden, Fishman directed five episodes of "The Conners" across its four seasons, so it remains to be seen if he wishes to explore that particular talent further.