ABC's hit sitcom The Conners returns for its sixth season Wednesday night, February 7, at 8 p.m. ET.
The show has had its ups and downs, first starting as a hit reboot of Roseanne in 2018, then with a retooling of The Conners after lead Roseanne Barr was fired for an online post that was criticized as being racist.
Through it all, the audience stayed. "It's very gratifying," says John Goodman, who plays family patriarch Dan, to ABC Audio.
"Because ... when we first started doing this, we only thought we were going to be like a little stunt for ABC and do a few shows. And then they called us back and, we kept getting more episodes," he continues, adding, "I've been grateful as hell and really rather surprised by it."
Goodman expresses with a laugh, "It's fun because it's always fresh. You know, what the hell are they going to do to us this week?"
Laurie Metcalf explains, "Coming off of a pandemic slash strike, it's ... fantastic to be back!"
This season, Laurie teases her character has a "very healthy relationship," so it's "really fun to be a little bit more grounded occasionally, not just, you know, flying here and there as crazy Aunt Jackie."
Sara Gilbert, who stars as Darlene and is an executive producer, says this season won't have any live performances. "I think we're probably keeping it simple," she says, explaining the family is the focus. "We have just awesome arcs set out and great stories this season."
Gilbert adds that it's "amazing that we've lasted this long, and I just am grateful that the audiences have stuck with us and ... hopefully we don't let them down too much."