Following weeks of speculation after ABC cancelled its most popular show due to its star’s racist tweet, ABC has announced plans to revive “Roseanne” — without Roseanne.
On Thursday evening, ABC announced a straight-to-series 10-episode order for a “Roseanne” spinoff, tentatively titled “The Conners”, set to debut this fall.
“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,” reads the network’s synopsis of the spinoff, possibly hinting that Barr’s character, matriarch Roseanne Conner, may be killed off.
“This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America,” the synopsis continues. “Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humour and perseverance, the family prevails.”
ABC’s announcement stresses that Barr — whose tweet comparing former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to “The Planet of the Apes” led ABC to cancel the show — will “have no financial or creative involvement in the new series.”
In a statement provided to ET Canada, exec producers Tom Werner and Roseanne Barr announced that they “have reached an agreement that will allow Werner Entertainment to produce a spinoff of the ‘Roseanne’ series for ABC without Barr’s further creative or financial participation,” adding that no further comment or information is available at this time.
“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from ‘Roseanne’. 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,” said Barr.
Added Werner: “We are grateful to have reached this agreement to keep our team working as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family.”
Meanwhile, a far happier statement was issued jointly by the stars of the upcoming spinoff: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman.
“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,” reads the cast’s joint statement. “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.”
Look for “The Conners” to fill the void left by the cancellation of “Roseanne” on ABC’s Tuesday night lineup come fall.