The Conners: Here's how [spoiler]'s absence will be explained in season 2

The Conners will be forced to make due without one of their own when the spinoff launches its second season later this month.

In the wake of news that cast member Maya Lynne Robinson (aka DJ’s wife and mother to their daughter Mary) has landed a full-time gig on CBS’ new sitcom The Unicorn (WATCH TRAILER), Conners showrunner Bruce Helford tells TVLine that the decision was made to write the actress’ exit into the show. “Geena has been redeployed to Afghanistan,” the EP explains of Robinson’s character, who is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. Her absence means “DJ will be back to being a single dad,” teases Helford, “and needing his family’s help in raising Mary.”

Helford remains hopeful that Robinson will have time in her Unicorn schedule to make an occasional guest appearance. As a result, there are no current plans to recast the character for a second time (as you’ll recall, Robinson replaced Mindy Project vet Xosha Roquemore, who played Geena in the Roseanne revival but departed ahead of The Conners‘ debut).

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'Roseanne' spinoff 'The Conners'
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) EMMA KENNEY
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) RENE ROSADO, LECY GORANSON
THE CONNERS - 'We Continue to Truck' - As Darlene grapples with a life-changing offer from Ben, an unexpected conversation with David turns her world even more upside down. Relationship problems lead Jackie to the bottom of the bottle at the last place she remembers being truly happy. Becky's hopes of a happily ever after with Emilio are jeopardized when Dan delivers alarming news, on the season finale of 'The Conners,' TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, EMMA KENNEY, MICHAEL FISHMAN, JAYDEN REY, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Maya Lynne Robinson as Geena Williams-Conner, Jayden Rey as Mary, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner, Ames McNamara as Mark, and Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, '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. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, LAURIE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, '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. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF, SARA GILBERT, LECY GORANSON, JOHN GOODMAN
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, '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. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - Actress Maya Lynne Robinson joins the cast of 'The Conners' as a series regular. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) MICHAEL FISHMAN, MAYA LYNNE ROBINSON
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) ESTELLE PARSONS, SARA GILBERT, LAURE METCALF
THE CONNERS - 'Keep on Truckin' - In the premiere episode, '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. 'The Conners' premieres TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, AMES MCNAMARA
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MARQUES RAY, JAMES PICKENS JR., JOHN GOODMAN
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF, JOHN GOODMAN
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, NATALIE WEST, SARA GILBERT
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, ESTELLE PARSONS
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, SARA GILBERT, AMES MCNAMARA, ESTELLE PARSONS
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, MAURICIA LARA, ASHTON JAMES PULIS, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars John Goodman as Dan Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) NATALIE WEST, MAYA LYNNE ROBINSON
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, SARA GILBERT
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Jayden Rey as Mary. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Ames McNamara as Mark. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Maya Lynne Robinson as Geena Williams-Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Emma Kenney as Harris Conner. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
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, on the series premiere of 'The Conners,' airing TUESDAY, OCT. 16 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMES MCNAMARA, JOHN GOODMAN
THE CONNERS - ABC's 'The Conners' stars Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
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The character of Geena holds a pivotal place in Roseanne canon. In the sitcom’s original run, she was the girl DJ refused to kiss because she was African-American. In the Roseanne revival, we learned that DJ ultimately married Geena and the pair had a daughter, Mary. Because Geena was serving overseas, we only saw the character (as played by Roquemore) once via Skype.

The Conners kicks off Season 2 on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c.

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