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The Conners Bosses Talk Season 4 Finale Credits' Heartfelt Callbacks To Roseanne, And What Not To Expect From Season 5 Early On

Spoilers below for The Conners’ final Season 4 episode, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched!

When all the dust settled on The Conners’ Season 4 finale — presumably that dust came from all of the furniture that was moved out of the living room — the ABC sitcom could boast two newly married couples in Jackie & Neville and Darlene & Ben, while Harris & Aldo went the reverse route with a break-up. But instead of going the usual route of delivering a scripted wrap-up scene to accompany the end credits, The Conners’ team chose instead to shine a well-earned spotlight on some of the set pieces and props that have been around since the Roseanne years. How many families do you know that still have a touch-tone phone hanging on the wall?

CinemaBlend spoke with The Conners showrunner Bruce Helford and executive producer Dave Caplan about the Season 4 finale’s ins and outs, and when I addressed the end credits sequence, Helford praised the dual series’ shared legacy and said: 

We have that enviable position of actually having the same actors from 30 years ago doing the show. I mean, no show has that, really. So we felt like that was for the fans to see some things that had survived all through the experience with the Roseanne show and The Connors, and that felt important. When we first put the set back together, literally went searching the prop houses for the originals, and we were able to find some of them, and those are the ones that we highlighted. It just felt like a good easter egg and also just, you know, a remembrance of the continuity of the show, and the lives that continue and continue on. Even when they marry other people, and they move here and move there, the Connor family household is going to be the centerpiece for everything, and always is. And that's just kind of a little reminder of all that.

It was downright bizarre to see the Conner family living room decked out for the wedding festivities, since this is one of TV's most iconic and recognizable sets. The episode itself did give a direct hat tip to the longevity of the family's belongings, with Mark asking Dan about the origins of the couch quilt, which itself was highlighted during the credit sequence. I did not see that story coming, but was impressed all the same, as I wouldn't have been too surprised if we'd learned the quilt came with the couch when they bought it. 

When I spoke with Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan early on in Season 4, I'd asked about whether the living room boombox still worked, which led to the pair talking about wanting to spend an entire episode digging into the family histories behind some of these very props. While that could still happen one day, it's awesome that they were able to achieve part of that goal with the finale.

The Conners and Roseanne set comparison

(Image credit: ABC)

Along with the quilt and wall phone seen above, the credits also showcased the kitchen wall decor (including the plates depicting oranges and the swordfish), the Godzilla figure, and the painting hanging in the living room. They also have the pantry jar of what I would believe to be pickled eggs, but my brain will not, cannot, shall not wholly register a jar of pickled eggs surviving for that long outside of Moe's Tavern. Instead, I choose to think of it as "that container of wet golf balls that no one ever refers to."

Interestingly enough, Roseanne Barr’s titular character wasn’t shown, though she was referenced during the episode, as has happened quite a bit in Season 4. The writers are fine to lean into Roseanne callbacks so long as they make sense in the moment, since people obviously do talk about their lost loved ones during big moments like weddings. But visual references are on a different level, it seems.

In any case, I also asked the showrunner and EP whether fans should expect for Season 5 to start off with Darlene, Becky and Ben all fully moved into their house, or whether there will be a bunch of renovating happening. And according to Dave Caplan, it'll probably be somewhere in the middle. In his words:

We'll be discussing that, actually. But we know we're not going to do a whole season - the contractors in our audience will be disappointed, but we're not going to do sort of a whole house-building for the course of the season. But no, we're still kind of discussing that.

To circle back around to the topic of credits, now that Ben and Neville are officially members of the Conner family — spiritually speaking, of course, especially for Neville — here’s hoping they’ll be part of the opening credits for future seasons. Helford and Caplan told CinemaBlend previously that they’d love to film a new version of it, but scheduling and COVID-related issues made it all but impossible to have absolutely everyone around on the set to make it happen. 

The Conners may be finished with Season 4, but anyone with a Hulu subscription can relive all 20 episodes while waiting for Season 5 to hit ABC’s fall schedule

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.