Bill Keveney USA TODAY
Published 2:06 p.m. UTC Jun 22, 2018
The Conners will go on without matriarch Roseanne.
ABC Thursday picked up “The Conners,” the tentatively titled spinoff of the hit comedy ”Roseanne” with no financial or creative connection to that show’s star and executive producer, Roseanne Barr. Other cast regulars will be part of the new comedy.
The network last month canceled “Roseanne” after a racist tweet by Barr. ABC already had renewed the the comedy, a revival of the 1988-1997 original that became the TV season’s top-rated show, for the fall.
ABC’s action came hours after Barr posted a racist tweet suggested former presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, who is of multi-ethnic heritage including African-American, was the child of the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
Shortly after the cancellation – which cheered her detractors, enraged her supporters and prompted a tweet from President Donald Trump – behind-the-scenes talks about a potential spinoff with other cast members began.
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The 10-episode spinoff will premiere this fall, in the same Tuesday at 8 EDT/PDT time slot that was the planned home for Season 2 of “Roseanne.”
A description of the series suggests that Barr’s character, Roseanne Conner, has passed away: “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before,” ABC says ominously, as ”Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. grapple with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America.”
Returning cast members include John Goodman as Dan, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie, Sara Gilbert as Darlene, Lecy Goranson as Becky and Michael Fishman as D.J.
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The actors issued a joint statement about the spinoff: “We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience. We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.”
Barr, an executive producer who was listed as co-creator of the most recent season, had to agree forego any involvement as a condition of ABC’s pickup of the new series.
“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from “Roseanne,” she said in a statement. “I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved.”
Since ABC had renewed “Roseanne” for the fall before canceling it, the network was obliged to pay the actors for seven episodes anyway, according to Screen Actors Guild rules. So the financial risk for ABC and producer Werner Entertainment is low.
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