I remember reading in an old Starlog that who Adrian Paul was going to be, was contingent on Chris Lambert reprising the role. Had Lambert declined to guest in the pilot, then Adrian would have played Connor Macleod. Ironically, that could have solved a LOT of our continuity whining by firmly establishing the TV series in another universe and have people not trying to rationalize it with the movie(s).
The TV series DOES state that Connor was in New York in 1985, and that he took out the Kurgan (but not before he killed Sunda Kastagir and a misspelled Osta Vazilek as in the movie), in the Watchers' database screen. Fandom generally concludes that the events of the first movie do happen, with the exception of the lines of dialogue that establish THE Gathering as happening in New York in 1985. A mini-gathering of all the immortals left in Manhattan, it seems. :P In any case, the Kurgen in the TV series universe and its spinoff comics is a significantly more developed character:
In similar retconning, the first year of the series establishes that the Gathering has begun, but doesn't really delve into what it means - the movie states that the few immortals who are left would battle to the last, but the series quietly ignores this and basically sticks with There Can Be Only One.