The Conners: ABC creates Roseanne spinoff – without Roseanne Barr
The sitcom life of America’s most famous blue collar family has taken a real life twist as ABC announced its wildly popular comedy Roseanne will return without its now disgraced headline star Roseanne Barr.
The new incarnation will focus on the remainder of the family with the working title The Conners.
ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr, who saw the show cancelled last month after posting racist tweets, relinquished any creative or financial participation in it. ABC said that was a precondition of the new show being commissioned.
In a statement issued by the show’s producer, Barr said was keen to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members. “I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from ‘Roseanne,’ she said, adding, “I wish the best for everyone involved.”
Barr, a prominent supporter of Donald Trump, caused outrage by likening Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to Barack Obama, as a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.
Her programme, itself a reboot of the original which ran from 1988 to 1990, was seen as the first to channel the frustrations of Trump’s white, blue collar constituency. Its first new episode last March was seen by more than 25 million people
Tom Werner, executive producer of the original series and the revival, said in the statement that he was grateful to reach the deal to keep the team working “as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family.”
ABC will star all the other leading cast members. John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman.
How Barr’s character, the family matriarch, will be erased from their lives was left unexplained for now by ABC.
“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,” the network said in its announcement, referring to the fictional Illinois town where the family lives.
In a joint statement, the cast expressed support for the project. “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,” they said.
Barr initially apologized and deleted the post, which had followed her pattern of making controversial political and social statements on social media. ABC was praised in so0me quarters for cancelling her show. But it was criticised for making striking a deal with her in the first plac, knowing her recent history of making controversial and sometime offensive remarks on Twitter. Critics said the overriding concern seemed to the huge popularity of the show, and its star. ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co, expected the show’s second season to replicate the massive success, and incomes, of the first.
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