Back in May, ABC canceled Roseanne after star Roseanne Barr tweeted racist comments, which were the latest in a long line of horrible tweets. But that was no reason for the Roseanne property to stop printing money for ABC or for the non-racist cast and crew to lose their jobs. In June, ABC gave a straight-to-series order for The Conners, a spin-off featuring the non-terrible people from Roseanne. Here’s the plot synopsis:
After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family – Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. – grapple with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.
It was presumed the “sudden turn of events” would be the death of Roseanne, and now John Goodman, talking about his character Dan Conner, has confirmed it to The Times (via Deadline):
“It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
Although it’s not an official confirmation, it’s about as close as we’re going to get. It also makes sense to kill off Roseanne, because if she’s alive, the door is always open to her to return one day, and it provides a distraction from the story the writers want to tell. You can’t focus on Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, and D.J. if there’s even a small chance that Roseanne could walk back through the front door and into their lives. It’s much easier to just kill off the character and be done with her, and let everyone deal with the emotional fallout.
The Conners will return to ABC on October 16th and star Goodman alongside Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, and Michael Fishman.