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ABC's 'Roseanne' Spinoff —Without Roseanne—Is Already Facing Backlash

Chris Morris
ABC's 'Roseanne' Spinoff —Without Roseanne—Is Already Facing Backlash

Roseanne Barr is history at ABC, but her television family lives on. That may not be good enough for many of the show’s fans, though.

The network has greenlit a spinoff of Roseanne for its fall schedule. The Conners (a working title) will focus on John Goodman’s “Dan” and other popular characters from Roseanne, while staying true to the program’s blue collar routes. Despite the popularity of the characters, though, many viewers are lashing out at the network.

Barr was fired and the show was cancelled after Barr posted a racist tweet directed at Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama. She apologized and deleted the tweet and says she begged ABC not to cancel the series.

That seems to have struck a chord with fans, many of whom (like Barr) are ardent Trump supporters. The spinoff will continue to address contemporary issues, including financial pressures, unexpected pregnancies, aging, and in-laws, just as it did with Barr as its focal point and the same creative team behind the show’s successful revival will be in charge of the new show. But when ABC issued a tweet confirming its return, it was immediately flooded with angry tweets, presumably from the Roseanne faithful.

While the supporting players on Roseanne were always as popular as the star (the show made Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert into household names), The Conners could be a test for ABC. Many of the actors on the show publicly rebuked Barr following her tweet, which could have alienated them from fans.

Barr has not commented publicly on the spinoff, but had to give her tactic approval for the show to occur. Because she co-created the characters, Barr would originally be entitled to some of the money generated by any spinoff featuring them. That was a deal breaker for ABC, and Barr agreed to waive those for the show to move forward.

She will, however, be credited as an executive producer on The Conners.