“They told me I wouldn’t be coming back”

Michael Fishman has released a statement about his departure from ABC’s “The Conners” ahead of the show’s fifth season.

“It was an honor to play DJ Conner,” Fishman said in a statement to People. “It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show where we’re tackling important issues.”

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“While I will wholeheartedly miss taping on Friday night in front of our loyal audience, along with our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities ahead in the next chapter of my career,” he continued.

“While I was told I wouldn’t be back for Season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow, learn and develop,” Fishman concluded. “I was incredibly lucky to come home and show off my extension. As I venture out into the world to build the future, I send enormous love and success to everyone involved in the production.”

Read Fishman’s full statement below.

Fishman played DJ Conner on the series, reprising the role he played for 10 seasons on “Roseanne.” The exact details of how Fishman will be written out of the series are currently under wraps, but he’s supposedly leaving the door open for him to return in future episodes if he so chooses. Jayden Rey, who plays DJ’s daughter Mary on the show, will return as a series regular.

Cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Jay R. Ferguson and Katey Sagal will all return for the new season. Chagall joined the show in its first season as Louise, a former high school classmate of Dan, Roseanne and Jackie who eventually becomes Dan’s new wife.

Fishman first began playing DJ Conner in 1988 in the second episode of “Roseanne.” He stayed with the show through its first nine seasons, returning with the rest of the original cast for the 2018 revival. He has also directed five episodes of “The Conners” as of 2020, most recently the Season 4 episode “Messy, Bad communication and academic test’.

Michael Fishman’s full statement:

“It was an honor to play DJ Conner. It’s every actor’s dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show where we touch on important issues. The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic actors while reaching out to fans in meaningful ways has had a profound impact on my life. I’m proud of the work I did as part of Roseanne and The Conners. Especially the privilege of playing a Military Veteran, Interracial husband and father of a biracial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey. I pride myself on professionalism, making lifelong connections and meaningful friends through production. Demonstrating my skills in the early years of ‘The Conners’ culminating in the opportunity to direct ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Election vs. The Pandemic”. This successful partnership earned me four more opportunities as a Director this past season. I achieved a dream with lifelong friends, propelling me into another aspect of my career that comes with endless possibilities.”

“While I will wholeheartedly miss taping on Friday night in front of our loyal audience, along with our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities ahead in the next chapter of my career. I have a number of projects I’m doing as a writer and I’m negotiating my next directing opportunities. Although I no longer have the privilege of playing DJ, my desire, passion and skill to bring characters to life as an actor continues. I appreciate everyone who supports and has supported my work. While I was told I wouldn’t be back for Season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow, learn and develop. I was incredibly lucky to get home and show off my extension. As I venture out into the world to build the future, I send enormous love and success to everyone involved in the production.”

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