Michael Fishman Says It Was His ‘Honor’ to Be on ‘The Conners’ After News of Season 5 Exit

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“The Conners” actor Michael Fishman reflected an uplifting and inspired outlook in a statement that confirmed Tuesday he would not be returning for the show’s upcoming fifth season, a decision he says was ABC’s.

“It has been my honor to play D.J. Conner,” the actor said in a statement to TheWrap a day after news surfaced of his departure. “It’s every actors dream to be a series regular, especially on a groundbreaking show, where we tackle significant topics. The opportunity to do comedy and drama alongside iconic castmates, while reaching fans in meaningful ways has profoundly impacted my life. I am proud of the work I did as part of Roseanne and The Conners. Especially the privilege of playing a Military Veteran, Interracial Spouse, and the father of a Bi-racial child, portrayed by the amazing Jayden Rey.”

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He continued, “I pride myself on professionalism, building lifelong connections and meaningful friends through production. Demonstrating my skills through the first few years of The Conners culminating in the opportunity to Direct Halloween and The Election vs. The Pandemic. That successful collaboration earned me four more opportunities as a Director last season. I achieved a dream with lifelong friends, propelling me toward another aspect of my career that comes with endless possibilities.”

Fishman portrayed D.J. in the original “Roseanne” for 10 seasons, later becoming a series regular for the spinoff, which follows the Conner family following Roseanne’s death. He appeared in roughly half of the show’s episodes, in addition to directing five of them.

ABC had no comment, and no additional details are available regarding the reasoning behind Fishman’s departure.

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Fishman added that he has further projects on the horizon.

“While I wholeheartedly will miss Friday night tapings in front of our loyal audiences, alongside our amazing cast and crew, I am excited for the opportunities coming in the next chapter of my career,” he said. “I have a number of projects I am pitching as a writer, and am negotiating my next directing opportunities. Although I no longer have the privilege to portray D.J., my desire, passion, and skill of bringing characters to life as an actor continues. I appreciate all those who support and have supported my work.”

“While I was told I would not be returning for season 5, Lanford was a valuable place to grow up, learn and develop,” he concluded. “I was incredibly lucky to return home and demonstrate my expansion. As I venture into the world to build the future, I send tremendous love and success to everyone involved in production.”

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