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ABC Announces 'Roseanne' Spinoff TV Series

ABC Announces 'Roseanne' Spinoff TV Series
Roseanne Barr (Sbukley/Dreamstime.com)

Thursday, 21 June 2018 08:38 PM

'Roseanne' is returning, but without its namesake.

ABC has given a series order to "The Conners," a spinoff starring original cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman. Not part of the new series will be Roseanne Barr, who played the matriarch on the long running and recently revived -- and more recently canceled -- multi-camera comedy. Barr will, according to ABC, have no financial or creative involvement in the spinoff.

"The Conners" is slated to debut this fall and take over the 8 p.m. Tuesday time period that "Roseanne" had been slated to occupy until the show was abruptly canceled last month in response to a racist statement made on Twitter by Barr. Additional cast members and a premiere date will be announced at a later date.

Gilbert, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen, and Tony Hernandez will serve as executive producers on the spinoff, which hails from Werner Entertainment.

"The Conners' stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love. The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago," an ABC spokesperson said in a statement.

Talks of a "Roseanne" spinoff dragged on for more than two weeks following the abrupt cancellation of what was last year's highest rated television series in Nielsen's 18-49 demo. Led by executive producers Gilbert, Werner, Helford, and ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, discussions centered on a pitch that would focus on Gilbert's Darlene as the center of an ensemble that would include the show's other key cast members.

A major stumbling block, however, was Barr. ABC insisted that the comic receive no financial benefit from a spinoff. Because Barr was credited as creator of the Roseanne Conner character around whom the original series was built, she was believed to be entitled to a stake in any spinoff -- even one in which that character was not involved. Sources tell Variety that Werner appealed to Barr to step away from the spinoff in support of the crew members who would be put out of work by the cancellation of "Roseanne."

ABC announced May 29 that it had canceled "Roseanne" just hours after Barr apologized published a racist tweet directed at Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Barack Obama. Barr subsequently apologized for the tweet, later blaming it on her consumption of the sleeping drug Ambien. But Dungey, the first African-American to ever serve as president of a U.S. broadcast network, in a statement announcing the show's cancellation said, "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show." Barr later took to Twitter to lash out at fellow stars and producers, including Gilbert.

Barr had a long history of making offensive statements on Twitter prior ABC's decision last year to order a revival of the long-running family sitcom, which first aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997. In 2013, Barr on Twitter compared former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and national security advisor Susan Rice, also African American, to an ape. The week that the new iteration of "Roseanne" premiered, she made false statements on Twitter accusing mass-shooting survivor David Hogg of delivering a Nazi salute at an anti-gun violence rally.

"Roseanne" finished the 2017-18 television season as the No. 1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers. Barr was featured prominently last month at the network's joint upfront presentation with cable channel Freeform, where she introduced Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood. The comic and the exec embraced in an onstage hug, with Barr joking that Sherwood was "the guy responsible for most of my tweets."

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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ABC has ordered a 10-episode spinoff of comedy "Roseanne" without creator Roseanne Barr, the channel said on Thursday.
abc, roseanne, spinoff, series, roseanne barr
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2018-38-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 08:38 PM
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