Roseanne was arguably the biggest network TV show of the 2017-2018 TV season, with the revival breaking ratings records right off the bat as the Conners made their way back to primetime. The show got the axe at the end of May after star and executive producer Roseanne Barr went off on a controversial Twitter rant. ABC wasn't necessarily ready to give up on the rest of the Conner family, however, and we now know that a spinoff starring the rest of the family is officially on the way. Here's what's happening.
ABC has officially ordered a Roseanne spinoff starring John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, and Michael Fishman. Tentatively titled The Conners, the new show scored a straight-to-series order, with ABC forgoing the traditional pilot process. It's no surprise that ABC didn't bother ordering a pilot and then evaluating based on whether or not it worked; the Roseanne revival already showcased all of these actors in their roles. Besides, without Roseanne, ABC had an opening in its fall TV lineup. The Conners is slated to kick off its 10-episode run in the fall. Roseanne Barr will have no financial or creative involvement on The Conners.
While the spinoff has been rumored to be in the works for a while, ABC was unwilling to move forward if former star Roseanne Barr was set to benefit financially from the new project, as recently as June 15. A deal was going to have to be worked out to separate Barr from the spinoff, if ordered to series. The deal has been struck, and Roseanne Barr released a statement with some details:
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.
The Alphabet Network hasn't revealed exactly how The Conners will write out Roseanne Barr's character, but the spinoff will pick up after "a sudden turn of events," which could point toward Roseanne Conner's untimely death sometime after the end of the Roseanne revival's finale and the Conners premiere. The rest of the Conner family will have to learn to deal with the difficulties of life in ways they never expected. They'll be faced with everything from complications of parenthood, dating, financial pressures, aging, in-laws, and an unexpected pregnancy, all set in working-class America.
The description of The Conners is vague enough that viewers can't really guess at any specifics. That said, the "unexpected pregnancy" could point toward Becky getting some surprising news. She learned that she may never be able to have children during an emotional episode of the Roseanne revival, although she was left with a bit of hope. Becky with a baby on the way could be good for some laughs and provide some levity, especially since The Conners will undoubtedly have to deal with some seriousness with however Roseanne was written out.
We'll have to wait and see. The Conners will premiere this fall on ABC on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, which was the slot originally intended for the second season of the Roseanne revival. An official premiere date and additional cast members will be announced later on. For what you can watch sooner rather than later, check out our summer TV premiere guide.