ABC’s ‘The Conners’: Can ‘Roseanne’ Go on Without Roseanne?

ABC/Robert Trachtenberg

The Conners

ABC

Premieres: Oct. 16

Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET/PT

Who’s In It? John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman

What’s It All About? ABC executives took a risk when they rebooted Roseanne this past spring, knowing star and executive producer Roseanne Barr’s volatile reputation. The risk reaped a big ratings reward, and the show was renewed for a second season.

Then Barr torpedoed the show with a racist tweet. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey was swift and decisive: “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Soon after, ABC announced that it picked up The Conners, and that principal cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman were onboard to salvage something from Roseanne’s wreckage — without any involvement by Barr.

According to the network, the Conner family faces “a sudden turn of events.” In late August, Goodman hinted to The Sunday Times that the Roseanne character dies, saying that Dan will “be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”

For all her outrageousness, Roseanne (the character) was still the hub that held the Conner family wheel in place and the source of its best jokes. Will the audience that boosted the Roseanne reboot outright reject The Conners?

Viewers will tune in to The Conners to learn Roseanne’s fate, but will they come back for more? Without the irascible Roseanne, the series has a hard row to hoe.

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About Ryan Berenz 1969 Articles
Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.