Sept. 15 (UPI) — Maya Lynne Robinson is to play Geena Williams-Conner, D.J.’s wife and a U.S. soldier returning from Afghanistan, on the ABC sitcom “The Conners.”
Robinson will be a series regular on the “Roseanne” spinoff, along with Michael Fishman’s D.J., John Goodman‘s Dan, Laurie Metcalf‘s Jackie, Sara Gilbert‘s Darlene, Lecy Goranson’s Becky, Emma Kenney’s Harris, Ames McNamara’s Mark and Jayden Rey’s Mary.
The character of Geena was first introduced as a child in the 1994 episode of “Roseanne” titled “White Men Can’t Kiss.”
She also occasionally appeared as an adult via Skype from where she was deployed in the recent, short-lived revival of “Roseanne.” She is the mother of D.J.’s daughter Mary.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Maya Lynne Robinson to the cast this season. Her character 2nd Lieutenant Geena Conner, whom a younger D.J. was reluctant to kiss in his school play, comes full circle as his wife and Mary’s mother, bringing back a little piece of Conner history.
“Yet, while Geena is no stranger to the family, viewers old and new will enjoy seeing how her ‘military-style’ discipline meshes with the Conners’ more laid-back attitude,” showrunner and executive producer Bruce Helford said in a statement Friday.
“The Conners,” which will not feature series creator and star Roseanne Barr, is scheduled to debut on Oct. 16.
“Roseanne” initially ran 1988-97 and remained popular in re-runs. It earned high ratings when it returned this spring and was renewed for another season, but the show was canceled and Barr was fired in May after Barr tweeted a racially insensitive joke about a former Obama administration official.
In June, ABC announced it was moving forward with a spinoff of “Roseanne” without its titular matriarch.