Why an Episode of 'The Conners' Season 5 Was Banned From Replays
While The Conners may not seem like an edgy show, an episode of Season 5 of the Roseanne spinoff was banned from reruns due to a controversial joke.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Conners season 5, episode 10.
While The Conners isn't usually one of the most controversial shows on TV, the Roseanne spinoff did get banned from reruns of a season 5 episode because of a poorly crafted joke. The Conners don't usually fight censorship. As a family sitcom, the spinoff retains the sharp wit and sarcastic working-class social commentary of its predecessor, Roseanne, but aside from the occasional dark joke, Conners generally doesn't have much problematic content. However, one such joke was banned from reruns of season 5 due to its unfortunate relevance to real life.
In The Conners season 5, episode 10, "The Dog Days of Christmas", Dan meets his mother-in-law Doris (Jane Curtin) for the first time. However, Louise's long-awaited reunion with her mother quickly sours when the flirtatious Louise reveals that she bought an RV to take her musician daughter to gigs across the US. Dan immediately sensed that something fishy was going on, but it was his earliest interactions with Curtin's character that provided the offensive communication that resulted in "Dog Days of Christmas" being removed from reruns, and the show's creators Apologies for the lines.
The Conners Referenced A Real Life Tragedy
When Myopic Doris First Arriving at her oversized RV, Dan sarcastically asked if she had run over any pedestrians or cyclists on the road. While the Season 5 Christmas episode of "The Conners" was a deliberately tragic gag, Doris' responses were unfortunately monotonous - and perhaps unintentionally - relevant to the real world. Her announcement that she could run over a marching band in her RV without noticing it could be read as a reference to the 2021 Waukesha Christmas parade attack.
In that tragedy, six people were killed and many others were injured when a motorist plowed into revelers during a parade. The tragedy struck Waukesha in late 2021, and since members of the marching band were seriously injured in the incident, concerned local citizens understandably viewed the stunt as a tasteless reference to a real-life death. That sparked protests and a swift ban on reruns, meaning The Conners' introduction to Dan's mother-in-law will not appear in syndication with the rest of the show.
Why The Conners Episode Was Pulled
The creators of The Conners did not dispute the offending line, opting instead to immediately pull "The Dog Days of Christmas" from reruns. In a statement, the show's producers said: "On behalf of the entire team At The Conners, we are deeply sorry and sincerely apologize to those who are still reliving the tragedy of the Waukesha Christmas Parade. The reaction was understandable because while the joke may have been an unfortunate coincidence, it was a very unfortunate mistake in a comedy to refer to a motorist driving a car and hitting a marching band during Christmas.
To the fans Luckily, The Conners' best Christmas episodes are still available online. Conners Season 4 Episode 8 "Yard Sale, Phone Breakdown, and College Betrayal" is still available on the platform, as are most sitcom outings , the episode didn't have any jokes that dovetailed with real-life tragedies. In contrast, "The Dog Days of Christmas" may become difficult to track in the years to come, as the episode has stopped reruns entirely. This is A small price to pay to keep Roseanne's spinoff from conjuring up real-life tragedies that The Conners episode seems to refer to.
The Conners episodes air every Wednesday on ABC.