Fans who tuned in for Season 1 of The Conners got quite the treat about halfway through when Katey Sagal showed up as a former high school classmate of Dan and Roseanne's who'd recently returned to town. Lucky for us, what could have been a one or two time appearance turned into a prime recurring role, as Dan and Sagal's Louise eventually began a romantic relationship. It turns out that the part must have been pretty lucky for Sagal, as well, because the actress fought to make sure Louise could stick around Lanford even after she landed a new TV show.
Generally, nabbing a leading role on another show would remove an actor's ability to keep filming a smaller part on a different series (particularly if both shows film at basically the same time), but Katey Sagal was adamant in her desire to stick with Louise, even after her new ABC drama, Rebel, landed a 10-episode series order for this fall. The Conners' showrunner, Bruce Helford, recently revealed what Sagal did to make sure those behind the family sitcom knew she wanted to stay around for Season 3. In a chat with TV Line, he said:
The first thing that Katey did was send us an email saying, ‘Do not hire a new girlfriend for Dan — I am not abdicating my role.’ Rebel starts production in early November [so] it’s going to be tough for her because she’s going to be doing double production. So there will be some conflict. But we’ll work on Saturdays [if we need to]. We intend for Louise to be around all season.
I have to admit, I love the hustle from Katey Sagal with this move. She could have easily abandoned The Conners to see if Rebel would turn out to be a long-term, full-time gig. This is especially true, considering that she's not yet a regular on the comedy, and it would likely only take one or two episodes to write the character off, if need be. But, Sagal has been very complimentary before about the work she's been given to do on the show, so it makes a lot of sense that she would want to stay, even with it meaning that her schedule would become much more difficult.
Rebel will see Katey Sagal play a “funny, messy, brilliant, and fearless” blue collar legal advocate who's based on the present day Erin Brockovich, meaning that the role sounds like the kind which any actress would love to play, and goes a long way toward explaining why Sagal wanted the part. The show will be filming while The Conners does for several weeks, and, as fans will see almost immediately when Season 3 of the comedy picks up, Louise is going to be around a bit more than in the past.
The show is going full-on with its pandemic storytelling, and will reveal that Louise has moved into Dan's already way too crowded home so that the couple could keep seeing each other in person. Unfortunately, Louise used to be in a band and on the road all the time, and she also never married or had kids, so she's now been thrown into a situation where she's not just living with her boyfriend, but two of his children, at least a couple of grandchildren (one of whom is an actual unpredictable baby), and also (probably) Darlene's boyfriend, Ben.
Something tells me that quarantine has been loooooong and stressful for Louise, you guys.