Hopefully everyone out there is ready to head back to Lanford, Illinois, because The Conners is finally returning to ABC for its long-awaited sixth season. And while details about the new episodes have been largely absent so far in 2024 — Emma Kenney even censored her on-set pics — now we know a bit more about what TV’s most dysfunctionally adoring family will be up to when the new episodes arrive.
Showrunner Bruce Helford and fellow executive producer Dave Caplan, along with the rest of the cast and crew, had to hold off on putting new stories together throughout the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but now everything is back in line for a shortened but no less exciting Season 6. Speaking with TVLine, the duo dropped some somewhat revealing details about who and what we can expect to see in the near future, and I’m possibly pumped about two of those reveals more than others.
Sounds Like Louise Has Big Ambitions
One of the best/worst things about The Conners is that the cast is too stacked and talented to put all the focus on Katey Sagal’s Louise every episode, so her storylines aren’t quite as numerous as most of the others. But things may be changing a little in Season 6 as she grows more restless as both a married woman and a former touring musician. As it usually goes, money will be a guiding force for her decisions, with Bruce Helford saying:
[They're] working hard this season to try and get their finances righted and get a handle on the mortgage. [Louise will ] branch out on a venture of her own.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Louise earning wages at the Lunchbox, especially when it means viewers get to see Sagal and Laurie Metcalf mixing it up. But she doesn’t seem to be all that happy about trading her creative ideals for service industry duties. So I’m very excited to see what new ventures are introduced for her. Maybe she can give singing lessons, allowing for Sagal and John Goodman to duet together at some point.
Dave Caplan also talked about what’s next for Louise and Dan, and at least it sounds like he’ll be joining her in support, as opposed to fighting against her wishes. According to the EP:
Louise has always been someone who needs a challenge. She’s off the road and she’s no longer a rock-and-roll musician, and it’s been an adjustment for her — and by extension, for Dan. She’s trying to find that next mountain to climb, so they’re negotiating that, as well.
She might need to branch out from just the area around Lanford to find conquerable mountains, but if anyone would do it, it’s Louise.
Possible Good News For Bev
Season 6 will also feature the return of a very familiar face: Estelle Parsons, whose Bev Harris is already lined up for a pair of installments early on. Jackie and Roseanne's mother made quite the appearance in Season 5, and while it wasn't quite as depressing or fatal as I expected, Bev was shown to be suffering from dementia, which led to a twisty reveal about the family's past.
While it wouldn't be anti-intuitive to think her next appearance would be another step closer to doom, Bruce Helford teased the opposite, saying:
There has been a lot of speculation about her. There’s a big surprise twist in these couple of episodes… and anybody who is a Bev fan is really going to enjoy these.
Estelle Parsons will be back for both Episodes 2 and 3, so hopefully we won't have to wait long to see what the surprise will be. I'd like to think it's Bev blackmailing Dan into letting her live with him and Louise, but that probably wouldn't be ideal for anyone involved.
And Let's Not Forget About Nick Offerman's Guest Spot
Now a full-on Emmy winner for his work on HBO's The Last of Us, Nick Offerman was the second guest star to get an early confirmation for The Conners' new season, on the heels of Seth Astin coming back as Becky's latest (and greatest?) beau Tyler. While details were previously light about what fans could expect, we now know that the Parks and Rec vet, who first worked with Bruce Helford quite a few years ago on the sitcom The George Lopez show, will be playing a TV host.
Specifically, Offerman's character heads up a restaurant rescue series, and is contacted by Becky as a means of trying to pull The Lunch Box out of a rut caused in part by Jackie being far less dependable on the job front. Becky and Louise aren't pleased with the way things are going, and you know it's an extreme feeling if they attempt to bring a whole TV production into it.
Check out the first Season 6 trailer below!
With more fun coming for Ben and Darlene, Becky and Tyler and more, The Conners will debut Season 6 on ABC on Wednesday, February 7, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Head to our 2024 TV premiere schedule to see what else is hitting the small screen in the near future.