More changes are in the works for ABC’s new Roseanne spin-off, The Conners. In addition to the controversial departure of Roseanne Barr, Xosha Roquemore of the Mindy Project is also leaving the franchise as the network attempts to launch the show in a new direction.
Roquemore played Geena, DJ’s wife, in the Roseanne reboot. ABC has already cast a new actress for the part, Maya Lynne Robinson, who was recently announced as a regular. The network officially welcomed Robinson to the cast last week. In the original show, DJ declined Geena’s advances because she was black. In the reboot, we learned that DJ got over her prejudice and wed Geena, with whom she shares a daughter.
"It wasn't enough to [fire me], they had to so cruelly insult the people who loved that family and that show," Barr said. https://t.co/ad7mu9hcqb
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) September 18, 2018
Although Geena is an important character, we only caught a glimpse of her in Season 10 because she is working overseas in the military. ABC has not said why they recast Geena’s part and it is unclear if it is related to Barr’s departure.
According to TV Line, executive producer Bruce Helford recently opened up about the casting and praised Robinson’s portrayal of DJ’s wife. He also expressed excitement at exploring how Geena’s military background will mesh with the Conners’ relaxed style.
The biggest change to the cast, of course, is the absence of Barr as the Conner family matriarch. The network fired the comedian after she posted racist comments about President Barack Obama’s former advisor.
— The Conners (@TheConnersABC) September 16, 2018
ABC then cancelled Roseanne, despite the series having huge ratings. Although she is not returning to the show, Barr recently apologized for her actions and wished the best for the franchise moving forward.
“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne,” Barr explained on social media.
Apart from Barr and Roquemore, the remaining cast members – including John Goodman – are expected to return in the spin-off.
The first season of The Conners is scheduled to begin Oct. 16 on ABC.