Last month, ABC swiftly canceled their hit series Roseanne after star Roseanne Barr made racist comments on Twitter. While you could argue that their motives were less than magnanimous as the series, which had started strong but viewership had begun to decline, wouldn’t be a proven moneymaker in the future. Nevertheless, they didn’t want the show, but it turns out they do want the show—just without Barr.
Variety reports that ABC has given a series order to The Conners, a spinoff that will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, and Michael Fishman. Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the series. Barr and executive producer Tom Werner issued the following statement:
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.”
“The circumstance that have caused me to be removed” was that she was a loudmouthed racist on Twitter. It’s super easy to not be racist on Twitter unless you’re racist in real life, and then you eventually think you can get away with being racist on Twitter. She couldn’t, she didn’t, and now she gets to watch everyone be successful without her.
While I’m sure the new series will draw curiosity views, I expect it will take the recent trajectory of the Roseanne revival where there’s big ratings at the beginning and it will slowly decline as the forces of time-shifting and streaming take hold. Still, this is great news for the rest of the cast and the crew who shouldn’t have to suffer for Barr’s behavior.