‘Roseanne’ minus Roseanne: ABC orders ‘The Conners’ for fall 2018
ABC is pulling a “Hogan Family” move in the wake of cancelling “Roseanne” last month: It’s ordered a 10-episode spinoff called “The Conners” that will feature the show’s cast, minus Roseanne Barr, according to TV By The Numbers.
The network pulled the plug on the “Roseanne” revival, its top-rated show in 2017-18, on May 29 after Barr sent a racist tweet about former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarret. Talk of a spinoff focused on the rest of the Conner family has percolated since then.
The show will fill the 8 p.m. Tuesday spot ABC had reserved for “Roseanne” in the fall before canceling it.
Barr will not be involved creatively in the spinoff and won’t have a financial stake in the show. She reached a settlement with producer Werner Entertainment and will retain rights to the Roseanne Conner character.
“We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience,” cast members John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman say in a joint statement. “We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.”
In her own statement, Barr says, “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.”
“Roseanne” executive producers and writers Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan and Bruce Rasmussen will hold the same jobs on “The Conners” (a working title at the moment). Gilbert, Tom Werner and Tony Hernandez are also EPs.
ABC did something similar with its show “The Hogan Family” in the late 1980s. The show, originally titled “Valerie,” retooled after star Valerie Harper left the show two seasons in following a dispute with producers. It was first retitled “Valerie’s Family,” then “The Hogan Family”; Sandy Duncan played an aunt who became a surrogate mom to Valerie’s kids. The show ran for four seasons following Harper’s departure, the last on CBS.