A racist remark alluding to a pro-Trump conspiracy theory was the final straw for ABC when it came to Roseanne Barr. The Roseanne reboot that had sparked one controversy after another, yet became one of the networks most successful shows, was canceled. But ABC still has the beloved members of the cast under contract. So, plans began to launch a new show with the likes of Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert, but without Barr. Now, ABC has announced The Conners.
THR reports The Conners’s 10-episode first season has gotten a straight-to-series order. This multi-camera comedy will “follow the Conner family who, after a sudden turn of events, are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.” So, assume Roseanne Conner has died, and will be brought up sparingly.
In the wake of Barr’s racist tweet, fans of the original series seemed excited for the show to continue on without her. However, since Barr was co-creator on the series, there was the potential she could still pull a paycheck even if she no longer appeared on it. This matter is addressed in the official statement from Executive Producer Tom Werner and Roseanne Barr, which also includes another Barr apology.
Tom Werner and Roseanne Barr 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. “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. Werner added: “We are grateful to have reached this agreement to keep our team working as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family.”
THR had previously reported that Barr’s financial ties to the show were a “major hurdle” in negotiations. Barr had reportedly agreed to sign away the fees and backend a spinoff would have received her under her previous deal. However, what this statement does not address is that Barr may have received “go-away money” to do so. THR also notes “Barr will retain all rights to her Roseanne Conner character and any future spinoffs beyond The Conners or any future reboots of the original.”
The word is this spinoff will focus more on Darlene and will premiere this fall. But will this be a case of too little too late? I mean, that’s the show ABC should have made initially, right? Barr’s behavior wasn’t a new development. Her real-life love of Donald Trump seemed a major influence on the show’s polarizing pilot. And more controversies followed with just about every new ep. Can cutting her loose and killing Roseanne Conner be enough to save The Conners?
Twitter weighed in:
Good. More John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf is always a great thing. #TheConners— Roger (@NotRabbitRoger) June 22, 2018
I’m the outlier who is okay with the THE CONNORS concept. I’m not thrilled about them having collaborated with Roseanne, but I think the characters are interesting, especially Darlene and Dan.— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) June 22, 2018
I'm definitely gonna watch #TheConners when it premieres this fall, and best of all, Roseanne Barr will not be involved, so double yay!— Tony Frederick (@tonyfrederick91) June 22, 2018
I'm going to give the spin-off series #TheConners a chance. Let's not blame the whole cast for one person0's mistake.— Eleanor Rudland (@aunt_wood) June 22, 2018
Starring the people who want us to forget they signed onto a show with a known racist and it backfired?— Ira (@ira) June 22, 2018
Keep it. https://t.co/djPqjUfrs6
What do you think? Is this enough of a change for you to give this rebooted Roseanne a second chance? What other changes might you want to see to the series?