|Created by||Matt Williams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Cinematography||Donald A. Morgan|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound|
|Original release||October 16, 2018 -|
The Conners is an American television sitcom created for ABC as a spin-off of the long-running series Roseanne. The series is produced by Werner Entertainment, with Bruce Helford serving as showrunner, and stars John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Jayden Rey, and Maya Lynne Robinson, with all except Robinson reprising roles from Roseanne.
Development on a spin-off began following the cancellation of Roseanne in May 2018, due to a racially derogatory comment by Roseanne star Roseanne Barr on Twitter. The next month, ABC ordered the series and confirmed the adult principal cast's involvement, while Kenney, McNamara, and Rey were confirmed in August. The series premiered on October 16, 2018, airing in the Tuesday, 8:00 PM, slot its predecessor was scheduled to hold during the 2018-'19 television season. On October 26, 2018, ABC ordered an extra episode, bringing the episode order to 11.
On March 22, 2019, the show was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. On May 14, 2019, ABC ordered six extra episodes, bringing the episode order to 19. The second season premiered on September 24, 2019.
The show follows the Conners, a working class family struggling to get by on a limited household income. After the death of the original show's lead character Roseanne, they are forced to face the daily struggles of life in their home in the fictional mid-state exurb of Lanford, Illinois, in a way they never have before.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||11||October 16, 2018||January 22, 2019|
|2||19||September 24, 2019||TBA|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"Keep on Truckin"||Andy Ackerman||Bruce Helford & Dave Caplan & Bruce Rasmussen||October 16, 2018||101||10.56|
|In a tragic turn of events, Roseanne suddenly dies. Three weeks following her funeral, the family learns she died of an opioid overdose, leading them to uncover her hidden drug dependency. DJ's military wife, Geena, returns home from Afghanistan. Darlene's son Mark confides in Dan about his crush on a boy at school. Mary Steenburgen guest stars as Marcy, a neighbor whom Dan blames for Roseanne's death by giving her prescription pain pills. After Darlene finds an additional hidden stash of opioids, the family realizes Roseanne was obtaining pills from multiple sources.|
|2||2||"Tangled Up in Blue"||Bob Koherr||Darlene Hunt||October 23, 2018||103||8.00|
|Darlene unexpectedly meets David's girlfriend, Blue (Juliette Lewis), at Mark's parent-teacher conference. During a weekend visit with David and Blue, Harris loses her virginity. An angry and upset Darlene insists David be more attentive when he has the children; Dan offers Becky a job, but discovers she has a drinking problem and demands she get help. Darlene begins dating again and decides it is time for her and David to divorce.|
|3||3||"There Won't Be Blood"||Bob Koherr||Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter||October 30, 2018||104||7.83|
|At Halloween, Darlene feels Mark's school is being overly politically correct in banning offensive costumes; Harris passes her driving test and pressures Dan to use Roseanne's old car; While interviewing for a job at an insult restaurant, Darlene becomes overly enthusiastic, offending her potential boss; Jackie introduces the family to her new boyfriend, Peter (Matthew Broderick).|
|4||4||"The Separation of Church and Dan"||Andy Ackerman||Sid Youngers||November 13, 2018||102||6.94|
|Jackie and Darlene discuss celebrating the upcoming holidays, their first without Roseanne. At his family's urging, Dan reluctantly attends a grief support group; Geena insists Mary attend church after learning D.J. has not taken her in two years; Mark and Jackie poll mall patrons about the election.|
|5||5||"Miracles"||Bob Koherr||Liz Astrof||November 20, 2018||105||6.86|
|Becky announces she is pregnant. To Dan's dismay, she intends to raise the baby without the father, Emilio, her co-worker at the restaurant. She confides in Jackie that Emilio may be unable to financially support her anyway. Darlene lands a job with a local crime magazine called, "Lock 'Em Up", and clashes with her new boss, Ben, over creative control.|
|6||6||"One Flew Over the Conners' Nest"||Fred Savage||Ali Liebegott||November 27, 2018||106||7.32|
|Bridget and Maria, a lesbian couple Becky went to high school with, want to adopt Becky's baby; Jackie receives a city permit to build a chicken coop. Darlene copes with a frequent casino patron who continually harasses her.|
|7||7||"Hold the Salt"||Kimberly McCullough||Dave Caplan||December 4, 2018||107||6.63|
|Darlene begins a romantic relationship with Ben but their similar personalities soon clash. Peter asks Dan to restore his Vespa, but Dan is reluctant after learning Jackie is paying for everything; Dan tells Jackie that Peter is "using" her in the relationship.|
|8||8||"O Sister, Where Art Thou?"||Rebecca Asher||Sid Youngers||December 11, 2018||108||6.68|
|A cop brings Harris home after catching her drinking underage. Becky warns her to stop but agrees not to tell Darlene. Darlene finds out anyway and is angry at Becky, unleashing Becky's long-held resentment over her sister's absence when her husband, Mark, died. Dan's old high school friend, Louise, is romantically interested in him, though he is not yet ready to move on after losing Roseanne. Jackie agrees to participate in Peter's educational project simulating Norwegian medieval life.|
|9||9||"Rage Against the Machine"||Fred Savage||Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter||January 8, 2019||111||6.85|
|Dan substitutes for D.J. when he is too sick to work at his vending-machine service job. When an improperly secured machine falls on Dan, injuring him, Darlene hires an attorney to sue for medical damages. Becky's boss warns her about flirting too much at work.|
|10||10||"Don't Shoot the Piano Teacher"||Kimberly McCullough||Kimberly Altamirano & Simone Finch||January 15, 2019||109||6.65|
|Darlene asks Ben to give Mark piano lessons then objects to his aggressive teaching style. Dan and Jackie try to convince Becky that Emilio would be a good father to their baby. Ben wants Darlene to move to Chicago and live with him after receiving an offer to relocate the magazine there.|
|11||11||"We Continue to Truck"||Bob Koherr||Bruce Helford||January 22, 2019||110||7.74|
|Jackie suspects Peter is cheating on her. David breaks up with Blue because she wants to have children and he does not. Darlene has second thoughts about moving to Chicago with Ben. After an ICE raid on a number of restaurants, Dan fears the worst when Emilio is absent from work.|
|Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||Prod.|
|12||1||"Preemies, Weed and Infidelity"||Gail Mancuso||Bruce Helford & Bruce Rasmussen & Dave Caplan||September 24, 2019||201||5.77|
|As Dan is hosting and participating in a poker game with his friend Chuck, Roseanne's mother Bev, and some others, Becky goes into labor and is rushed to the hospital. Additionally, Darlene confides in Jackie that while she has continued seeing Ben, she has also rekindled her sexual relationship with David and does not know how to proceed. Harris is revealed to have been baking cookies that contain marijuana, also known as "pot cookies", resulting in her being grounded by Darlene. Amidst all this, Becky gives birth prematurely to a daughter that she names Beverly Rose, in honor of her grandmother and her deceased mother.|
|13||2||"A Kiss Is Just A Kiss"||Gail Mancuso||Darlene Hunt||October 1, 2019||202||5.58|
|Darlene and David have to meet with the school principal after Mark and another boy are given detention for kissing, as the school has strict rules against P.D.A. (Public Displays of Affection). During the meeting, Mark is disappointed when the other boy won't admit to being gay in front of his grandmother. After having her baby Little Bev, as Mark refers to her, Becky struggles to produce breast milk and worries that she may be too old to be a good mother. Meanwhile, Darlene has a close call when Ben comes to the house at the same time that David is up in her bedroom.|
|14||3||"The Preemie Monologues"||Gail Mancuso||Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter||October 8, 2019||203||5.69|
|As the family members take turns watching Little Bev at the hospital, Becky returns to work early so that she will be able to support herself and the baby. She deduces that she will still not be able to pay for even the basic elements of caring for a child. Darlene says that Becky and Little Bev must move in with Dan out of necessity, and Dan agrees. Harris reveals to Darlene that she knows Darlene is seeing both David and Ben, and Dan grows closer to his platonic friend Louise. Towards the end of the episode, Dan asks Louise out on a date, his first since Roseanne died, and she accepts. In the end credits scene, the basement is revealed to have been converted into a bedroom for Becky and Little Bev, the latter having been released from the hospital.|
|15||4||"Lanford... Lanford"||Gail Mancuso||Bruce Helford & Bruce Rasmussen & Dave Caplan||October 15, 2019||204||5.50|
|Darlene continues to struggle to decide whether to settle with David or Ben. This comes to a boiling point when Darlene gets a flat tire and calls Ben for help after David didn't answer. David also shows up and Darlene barely escapes being found out. Darlene and David go to therapy on David's request, and there, David tells Darlene that he is breaking up with her, as he feels that he has never had a voice in the relationship. With this seemingly settled, Darlene meets with Ben to break the news of her infidelity to him, but he tells her that he did put two and two together when Darlene got the flat tire, and tells her that he is also breaking up with her, though he does not fire her. Becky wants to become a bartender at her workplace, but Dan doesn't think it's a good idea with Becky trying to maintain her sobriety. Becky reminds her dad that she is around alcohol all the time, as he has plenty of beer in the house.|
|16||5||"Nightmare on Lunch Box Street"||Gail Mancuso||Debby Wolfe||October 29, 2019||205||6.03|
|Jackie unearths a shocking secret when she tries to reopen the Lunch Box with Becky. Meanwhile, Darlene struggles with how to get Ben to forgive her and Mary becomes upset when a woman believes she is adopted.|
|17||6||"Tempest in a Stew Pot"||Fred Savage||Sid Youngers||November 12, 2019||206||TBD|
|18||7||"Slappy Holidays"||Gail Mancuso||Emily Wilson||November 19, 2019||207||TBD|
|19||8||"Lanford, Toilet of Sin"||TBA||TBA||November 26, 2019||208||TBD|
|20||9||"Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action"||Jody Margolin Hahn ||Kimberly Altamirano & Simone Finch ||December 10, 2019||209||TBD|
On May 29, 2018, ABC cancelled Roseanne despite initially renewing it for an eleventh season, following racially insensitive remarks made by Roseanne Barr, who starred as Roseanne Conner, on Twitter about Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to Barack Obama. In June, reports swirled that the show could possibly be re-tooled as a spin-off focusing on Sara Gilbert's character Darlene. Around June 15, 2018, reports emerged that ABC was close to making a deal to indeed continue the show as a Darlene-centric program. Barr is not involved in any way in the new program, and likely received a one-time payment in return. John Goodman had stated that Roseanne Conner would be killed off, which indeed was the case.
On June 21, 2018, it was announced that ABC had officially ordered a 10-episode spin-off tentatively titled The Conners, and that rather than focusing on Darlene, it would involve every cast member except Barr. On August 28, 2018, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, and Jayden Rey, who starred as Harris Conner-Healy, Mark Conner-Healy, and Mary Conner, respectively, throughout the tenth season of Roseanne, were subsequently officially confirmed as series regulars for The Conners.
On December 15, 2018, it was reported by Deadline Hollywood that preliminary negotiations were underway with the cast for a second season. Deadline later reported on March 21, 2019 that renewal was close. On March 22, 2019, ABC renewed the show for a 19-episode second season, which premiered on September 24, 2019.
Production on the series began on August 31, 2018, at the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, California. On October 26, 2018, ABC announced it had ordered an additional episode, bringing the first season's total number to 11.
The Conners has been a strong and consistent performer for ABC, ranking as the #1 new comedy for the 2018 TV season in both the key demographic of adults 18-49 (2.2 rating) as well as in total viewers (9.5 million). When compared to all other broadcast network TV shows, The Conners finished the 2018-19 TV Season as the 16th highest rated program in the 18-49 demo, the third highest-rated comedy in the 18-49 demo (behind the final season of The Big Bang Theory at #1, and its spin-off Young Sheldon at #2), 31st place overall in total viewers and as the #4 comedy in total viewers (behind The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon and Mom on CBS).
Even with the overall solid ratings performance of The Conners, it is worth noting that viewership has thus far fallen quite short of the blockbuster ratings achieved by its predecessor. The Roseanne reboot finished the 2017-18 TV season with a 5.0 rating in the 18-49 demo, and 17.8 million viewers, making it the #3 show overall in both the 18-49 demo as well as in total viewers. Still, The Conners has been an undeniable hit for ABC, with its first season ratings nearly doubling the average rating of all prime time shows to air on ABC during the 2018-19 season. ABC finished that season in last place among the "big four" TV networks in the 18-49 demo (1.2 average rating) and second-to-last in total viewers with an average of just 5.6 million, making The Conners one of the few ratings bright spots on the ABC schedule.
So far the 2019-20 TV season has been a turbulent one for the industry, with most networks and programs seeing a rather dramatic decline in ratings. Not one hit show premiered on a network in 2019. Viewership across the board has been "paltry" and "inauspicious"--a "rude awakening" for the television industry, according to Deadline. Bucking the industry trend in its second season, however, The Conners ratings have been remarkably consistent from one episode to the next, and are only down slightly from season one. The show has actually improved its rank with younger viewers; it is now the #2 highest rated comedy in the 18-49 demo (with the final season of Modern Family edging it out for the top spot by around 275,0000 young viewers per week). In total viewers, The Conners again improves on its season one ranking, now coming in as the third highest rated comedy on TV (after Young Sheldon and Mom). The Conners remains by far the highest-rated comedy on ABC.
Due to its continued ratings success in season two, particularly with younger viewers, and the uncommon steadiness of those ratings, The Conners is considered a "sure bet" for renewal next season by the industry analysts at TVByTheNumbers and is the only ABC program to receive that designation so far this season.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Rank||Avg. viewers|
|1||Tuesday 8:00 pm||11||October 16, 2018||10.56||January 22, 2019||7.74||2018-19||31||9.53|
|2||19||September 24, 2019||5.77||TBA||TBD||2019-20||TBD||TBD|
|1||"Keep On Truckin'"||October 16, 2018||2.4/10||10.56||0.8||3.08||3.2||13.65|
|2||"Tangled Up in Blue"||October 23, 2018||1.7/7||8.00||0.8||2.64||2.5||10.65|
|3||"There Won't Be Blood"||October 30, 2018||1.8/8||7.83||0.7||2.43||2.5||10.26|
|4||"The Separation of Church and Dan"||November 13, 2018||1.5/7||6.94||0.8||2.66||2.3||9.60|
|5||"Miracles"||November 20, 2018||1.4/6||6.91||0.8||2.58||2.2||9.44|
|6||"One Flew Over the Conners' Nest"||November 27, 2018||1.4/6||7.32||0.8||2.32||2.2||9.64|
|7||"Hold the Salt"||December 4, 2018||1.3/6||6.63||0.8||2.51||2.1||9.14|
|8||"O Sister, Where Art Thou"||December 11, 2018||1.4/6||6.68||0.7||2.31||2.1||8.98|
|9||"Rage Against the Machine"||January 8, 2019||1.4/6||6.85||0.7||2.25||2.1||9.10|
|10||"Don't Shoot the Piano Teacher"||January 15, 2019||1.3/6||6.65||0.7||2.33||2.0||8.99|
|11||"We Continue to Truck"||January 22, 2019||1.5/7||7.74||0.7||2.32||2.2||10.06|
|1||"Preemies, Weed and Infidelity"||September 24, 2019||1.3/7||5.77||.55||2.068||1.83||7.84|
|2||"A Kiss Is Just A Kiss"||October 1, 2019||1.2/6||5.58||.55||2.026||1.7||7.607|
|3||"The Preemie Monologues"||October 8, 2019||1.2/6||5.69||.57||2.058||1.69||7.75|
|4||"Lanford...Lanford"||October 15, 2019||1.1/6||5.50||.55||2.131||1.69||7.631|
|5||"Nightmare on Lunch Box Street"||October 29, 2019||1.2/6||6.03||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating from critics and a 38% audience rating. The website's consensus reads, "The Conners offers the comforts of its source show, but more focus on the family's ever-evolving dynamics adds a welcome layer of working-class empathy without losing any of the laughs."Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". As part of the conditions of receiving an advance release, critics were forbidden from divulging how Roseanne Conner was written out of the series.
Roseanne Barr said having her character killed by an opioid overdose "lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show."
|2019||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Laurie Metcalf||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Brian Schnuckel||Nominated|