Here’s How ‘The Conners’ Will Explain Roseanne Barr’s Absence
Roseanne will continue minus Roseanne this fall, when it becomes The Conners. Following Roseanne Barr’s racist comments on Twitter earlier this year, ABC initially canceled the top-rated revival of the ’90s sitcom, then reinstated it on the condition that Barr was not involved. The exact details of how the show would get rid of Roseanne’s character haven’t been officially announced, but co-star John Goodman, who plays Barr’s husband Dan, dropped a big hint to The Times in a new interview.
Asked about the continuation of the series, Goodman told the Times “It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.” (RIP Roseanne Conner.)
That plan sounds very similar to the one that was used by another hit family sitcom that ditched its famous star. In the fall of 1987, Valerie Harper was fired from her show, Valerie, following a pay dispute. In the context of the show, Valerie “died.” Sandy Duncan joined the cast as her sister-in-law, and the series became Valerie’s Family and then The Hogan Family. It lasted for four more seasons on two different networks; in the end the show was on the air longer as The Hogan Family than as Valerie.
Whether The Conners lasts without Roseanne (a bigger star than Valerie Harper, and a stronger personality that defined her show) remains to be seen. The spinoff series debuts on ABC on October 16.
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