1 of 5 | Michael Fishman, who originally played DJ Connor in the sitcom "Roseanne," is leaving the spinoff show "The Conners" after four seasons. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Michael Fishman, who stars in the ABC sitcom The Conners, is leaving the show prior to its fifth season, it was reported Tuesday.
Fishman, 40, portrayed D.J. Conner in the show, reprising the original role that he played for ten years on the 1990s sitcom Roseanne.
TVLine first reported that Fishman was exiting the show, with details on how D.J. will be written out of the series remaining under wraps.
However, it was reported that the network will leave Fishman's potential return to the series on the table, should he choose to do so.
It was also reported that actress Jayden Ray, who portrays D.J.'s daughter, Mary, would be returning to The Conners as a series regular.
The additional slate of cast members, including John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara, Lecy Goranson, Katey Segal and Jay R. Ferguson will all being returning to the show for Season 5.
The Conners was originally developed as a spinoff of Roseanne following the latter's cancellation in 2018, retooling the show to work without original series star Roseanne Barr, who was written out of the show after a slate of controversial comments on social media.
While The Conners picks up more or less where Roseanne left off, there were a number of continuity developments that were ignored by the showrunners -- including almost all of the major events that occurred with Barr during Roseanne's final season.
The series still follows much of the original premise of Roseanne, though, including many episodes that discussed real-world issues that are affecting many Americans.
The departure of Fishman marks the first major casting shakeup since the spinoff began. However, Entertainment Weekly noted that, even though he was billed as a series regular, Fishman appeared in only about half of the show's episodes, instead taking a larger directing role behind the camera.
Despite the controversies surrounding the franchise, The Conners has been received mostly positively by critics.
Season 5 was previously ordered by ABC this past May, and is set to debut on the network on Sept. 21.