Ahead Of The Conners Season 5, Star Emma Kenney Shares Adorable Throwback Pic For 23rd Birthday

Harris talking to family in the kitchen on The Conners
(Image credit: ABC)

Another Fall TV season is set to take over screens across the country (though perhaps not as many screens as in years past), and ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup is a definite highlight on the schedule. Fans aren’t the only ones anticipating the return of The Conners for its fifth season, as its cast and creative team are also pumped to bring the Lanford clan back for another season of beating back hardships with self-accepting pessimism. But there’s nothing inherently pessimistic or hardship-py about birthday celebrations, which Conners star Emma Kenney is gearing up for, as she’ll turn 23 on September 14. And what better way to move forward than with a cutesy-pootsy throwback pic?

Emma Kenney took to her Instagram stories a little less than a week ahead of her b-day and shared a blast from the past:

Emma Kenney throwback picture

(Image credit: Emma Kenney Instagram)

If there was an award for cutest use of a croquet mallet, this would probably at least be in the finals, if not a winner. I'm not sure if that would be an annual competition, or how anyone would keep track of such things, but those details probably aren't worth discussing at this exact moment. There are birthdays to celebrate!

Interestingly enough, Emma Kenney is turning 23 going into her the new season of the show, while her fictional mom Sara Gilbert hadn't yet turned 23 when Roseanne ended its original run in 1997. Given that there's no end in sight to The Conners at this point, we may get to see more of Harris' twenty-something life than we saw of Darlene's. 

Judging by other posts on her Instagram stories, it looks like Kenney appealed to her more horror-friendly side by heading out to Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights with friends. Here's hoping The Conners delivers another costume-filled Halloween episode now that filming such things isn't quite as impossible as it was during the strictest COVID stretches.

The Harris Conner portrayer promoted the ABC sitcom recently with its Season 5 key art that presents the cast/characters as museum subjects. 

If the Smithsonian can house Fonzie's jacket from Happy Days and Archie Bunker's chair from All in the Family, there's no doubt in my mind that Drunk Jackie should be available to the public in some shape or form, even if it has to happen only during museum hours. 

While I think we can all wish Emma Kenney many happy returns as she traverses her twenties, The Conners has made big headlines going into Season 5 not for happy returns, but for unfortunate exits. O.G. star Michael Fishman won’t be part of the cast going forward, and while it’s always possible he could return as D.J. Conner in the future, it remains to be seen exactly what that situation is about. But it sounds like the writers will be explaining that absence away early on, so it won't be a dangling thread.

The Conners is shifting up in the ABC schedule for its Season 5 premiere, which will take place on Wednesday, September 21, at 8:00 p.m. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see everything else hitting broadcast, cable and streaming in the coming months. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.