‘The Conners’: Surprise Return of Original ‘Roseanne’ Character Coming Soon

Roseanne Bar and John Goodman on 'Roseanne'
Everett Collection

The Conners showrunners been teasing the return of a past Roseanne character for some time now, and it sounds like it’s finally almost here.

Executive producers Dave Caplan and Bill Helford hinted in September that fans should look out for an original Roseanne character in the fifth season. “I can’t reveal it, but there is someone coming from years’ past,” Helford told TVLine at the time, before adding, “It was a very memorable appearance when this person was there, and this person is coming back.”

But so far, no such character has appeared in the reboot. Not to worry, though, as they have since reassured fans that the reveal is still to come, and probably soon. “Oh yeah, still happening,” Helford confirmed to the site on Tuesday. “I don’t want to tell you much… It could very well be after the first of the new year.”

Helford also offered up some big clues that help eliminate more than a few potential subjects: “It’s a man. And it’s not just a character, it’s the person who played the character,” he said. He also noted that it would be a character that appeared “way back in the beginning,” so it is likely to be someone who appeared previous to Season 5.

This means it’s someone notable and someone recognizable that fans will instantly remember from way back when. It’s unlikely to be anyone who had a small guest role on the show, as they wouldn’t give the “oh s***t” reaction the showrunners are teasing.

Two potential players: George Clooney had a role in Season 1 as Jackie’s love interest, and he was last seen in a flashback during the opening of Season 3. But Clooney hasn’t done anything on TV in a very long time, so it would seem quite the long shot to nab the star. That leaves Roseanne Barr‘s one-time husband Tom Arnold, who had a recurring role in Seasons 2-5 as Arnie Thomas.

Of course, if it is just for the hardcore fans, it could still be a super obscure character that only the Roseanne diehards would recognize. We will just have to wait and see.

The Conners, Season 5, Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC