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Laurie Metcalf Has Landed A New Role For HBO, So What About The Conners?

The Conners has its fair share of irreplaceable stars, and it's reasonable to say actress Laurie Metcalf is near the top of the list. Her role as Roseanne Conner’s sister, Jackie, has long brought audiences laughter, but the actress does get other gigs outside of the show. Just recently, Metcalf snagged a new role on HBO, which might raise questions regarding her future on the ABC sitcom. 

Laurie Metcalf will join the HBO Max series Hacks during Season 2 as a recurring guest star. This wouldn't be her first production with the premium cable company, as she previously led the comedy Getting On. Metcalf joins Martha Kelly and Ming-Na Wen, who will also appear in that same capacity. Margaret Cho was also announced as a guest star, with the distinction presumably indicating that she won’t be recurring. Metcalf and her colleagues join a series that centers on legendary Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), who mentors her 25-year-old writer, Ava (Hannah Einbinder), as they prepare her new act for an upcoming tour. 

It’s exciting to hear that the Lady Bird star is on board for Hacks Season 2 though, if you’re a fan of The Conners, you may be afraid Jackie is on her way out. While we have no way of knowing what will happen for sure, it’s important to point out that it's  not usual for actors to work on shows simultaneously. While a recurring role is a bit meatier for the Oscar-nominated actress, it’s not nearly as massive as her commitment to the Roseanne follow-up. It’s possible this role only minimally impacts her work on The Conners, and it’s even possible it might not affect it at all. 

Hacks isn’t the first series Laurie Metcalf has stepped into since she started work on the ABC series. She’s featured in the much-talked-about Hulu series The Dropout and did voice work for the Netflix series Q-Force in 2021. In short, jumping into another series isn’t anything new for Metcalf, and she’s a veteran actress who's certainly capable of juggling multiple obligations if need be. 

Fans might feel worried nonetheless, as there is a question of how long The Conners can retain actors like Laurie Metcalf (who almost didn’t get one of her funniest moments in the original series due to censorship) and John Goodman (who ironically also a star on HBO's The Righteous Gemstones). Both gained notoriety in the original Roseanne series but, as Metcalf's new gig partly proves, they are still very much high in demand in Hollywood. 

There's obviously a big question as to how the series would or could move on without either of the cast members and how the creatives would write around them if the series were to continue in their absences. Then again, we’re talking about a franchise that successfully managed to write off its main character (much to the star’s dismay) and rebrand itself entirely after Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweet. So maybe it's not too far-fetched to think that the series can survive just about anything at this point, even a (possible) exit from one of its key stars.

The Conners airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Season 4 is currently playing out amid new seasons of other returning shows

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.