Although Laurie Metcalf has starred on both Roseanne and The Conners, the sitcom may be the setting up Jackie’s exit judging by recent jokes.
Since actor Laurie Metcalf is busy with other projects, The Conners season 4 might be setting up Jackie’s exit early. The Conners is no stranger to casting reshuffles. The sitcom began life as Roseanne before its original star Roseanne Barr was fired for racist remarks on Twitter, resulting in the death of her character and the family sitcom being retooled into The Conners.
Before that, the sitcom encountered the issue of recasting when the original Roseanne recast Lecy Goranson’s Becky with Sarah Chalke. When The Conners brought back Becky, the series iconically recast Chalke with the character’s original actor, Goranson. However, throughout all of the cast reshuffles, one constant presence on Roseanne and its retooling The Conners has been acclaimed actor Laurie Metcalf as the audience-beloved Jackie.
Metcalf is one of the most celebrated stars of The Conners, with a career that can match that of her series co-star John Goodman. Already the recipient of numerous Emmys for her work on Roseanne, Metcalf was also nominated for an Oscar in 2018 for her role in Lady Bird. As a result, she has been in high demand, something that could jeopardize her availability for The Conners. For two episodes in a row now, Dan has passive-aggressively joked about wanting Jackie to leave his family home and give him peace. The first of these gags saw The Conners finally address Jackie’s presence in the family and note how odd it is that Jackie spends all of her time with them. However, the second joke, found in ”Big Negotiations and Broken Expectations” (season 4, episode 17), seemed oddly pointed so soon after the first and could have been setting up Metcalf’s upcoming absence from The Conners.
Since Metcalf will appear in season 2 of HBO’s Hacks, The Conners might be setting up an excuse that will allow her to be absent for a few episodes. This would not be the first time that The Conners has needed to pull such a storytelling stunt. The excuse that Dan wife’s Louise was going on tour as a musician offscreen throughout much of The Conners season 4 was used to cover up actor Katey Sagal’s hospitalization after a car accident. However, it would be terrible timing for Metcalf to leave, since Jackie could solve Harris’ pointless plot on The Conners.
That said, John Goodman manages to balance a main role in both The Righteous Gemstones and The Conners, and Sagal’s absence was a lot more unavoidable since the actor was unable to work on any projects while recovering. As such, these two jokes might be a coincidence and Metcalf may not miss out on any episodes of The Conners. The series is still popular with viewers and Metcalf has managed to balance numerous shows throughout her career (including filming The Conners while shooting her Oscar-nominated movie role). As such, The Conners audience need not worry about the imminent exit of Jackie just yet, despite Dan’s joke seeming to hint that this could occur sometime in the future.
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