Emma Kenney: The Conners Are ‘the Same Family’ Without Roseanne

The Conners are picking up where they left off … with a slight change. Emma Kenney, who plays Darlene’s daughter, Harris, on the ABC sitcom, opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about returning to the Roseanne set for the spinoff of the revival, adding she “wasn’t surprised” that the show continued following Roseanne Barr’s firing.

“I was really excited, and I did not know what to expect in the sense of everyone coming back together,” Kenney, 19, told Us. “I’m really grateful that it came together the way it did, and I’m really excited for the stories that we’re telling this season.”

the conners
“Keep on Truckin'” – A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. Eric McCandless/ABC

In May, Barr made a racist remark on Twitter that led to Roseanne’s nearly immediate cancellation. A month later, ABC announced that The Conners will debut in October, sans Barr. The Shameless star detailed the moment when the cast returned to set, reuniting for the first time after all the drama.

“It was a happy moment seeing everyone again, and I’m really happy that we’re all back together, and I know everyone has each other’s backs,” she said. “Everyone is very professional. Everyone is very kind, and it’s just a very good group of people working together. We all have very similar kind of motives and agendas. And, we know the stories that we want to tell this season, and this is the same family – the Conner family – and I’m really looking forward to telling more of their stories and their lives.”

Kenney also told Us that she really looks up to her costars Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman.

“Everyone has been so kind and so open to teaching me … There’s so much to learn from literally everyone on set,” she said. “I talk to Sara a lot about speech and comedic timing and just kind of moments. I really look up to her, and she’s so nice. She’s always been so helpful and supportive and so smart. And, obviously, I’m playing Darlene’s daughter so there’s those kinds of similarities. I’m always on set watching Laurie and John during rehearsals just because they’re both so incredible – something different every take. It’s insane. The line could be, ‘I’m going to the park,’ and they would make it funny somehow.”

The Conners premieres on ABC Tuesday, October 16, at. 8 p.m. ET.

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