The Roseanne spin-off The Conners has now locked in a few more cast members, and that includes Shameless actress Emma Kenney. She plays Darlene and David’s daughter Harris, and she is one of three performers (alongside young actors Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey) getting a promotion.
The most curious thing about Kenney’s promotion is that Shameless is still on the air, and it’s rather unusual for an actor to have a series-regular position on two different shows. Yet, maybe the shortened episode order for The Conners allows that to be possible, given that John Goodman is doing something similar potentially with his role on Danny McBride’s upcoming HBO comedy.
In a statement (via TVLine), here is what Kenney had to say on the subject:
“The Conners are a family of acceptance and loyalty and I feel blessed to be able to help tell their story … I’m really excited to start this new chapter in mine.”
Ultimately, locking in these young actors is mostly important for the long-term viability of the series, and we see this mostly as a sign that the plan isn’t to just do one season of The Conners and move on. Even if this show ends up drawing half of the ratings that Roseanne did, it’s still going to be a huge hit and there’s a zero percent chance that ABC is going to want to move away from it. Promotions help to ensure that the network and producers won’t have to do more recastings at some other point down the road.
New episodes of The Conners are going to start airing this fall in the same Tuesday-night timeslot as Roseanne. In case you missed it, John Goodman recently said that Roseanne’s character is probably going to be killed off — it’s really hard to write her out any other way that would make sense for the show.
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