It doesn’t look like ABC is quite ready to quit its rating bonanza Roseanne, even after the sitcom’s star sent out a series of bugged out, blatantly racist tweets. After several weeks of negotiations, the network has decided to go ahead and make a ten-episode spinoff series without Rosanne Barr.
Provisionally titled The Conners, the new sitcom will premiere in the fall and see John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, and Michael Fishman reprise their roles in a show likely centered on Gilbert’s character Darlene, the New York Times reports. In a joint statement, the remaining cast said: "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."
Despite creating the original show’s titular matriarch, Barr will have no creative role in the spinoff. Both ABC and production company Werner Entertainment were also adamant they did not want Barr to profit in any way from the offshoot. Barr has agreed on a settlement fee with Werner Entertainment, according to the Hollywood Reporter, a payment described by one insider as "go-away money." However, sources also told THR Barr still holds rights to her Rosanne Conner character should she ever want to pursue other revival projects.
"I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Rosanne," Barr explained in a statement. "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."
The Rosanne reboot’s ratings were huge for the network and the right credited its success to depicting voices from a red, working-class heartland too often ignored by TV executives. The network has taken a calculated bet, albeit a safer one than bringing Christopher Plummer in to replace Barr. It looks like the Trump-supporting actor will just have to watch the new series at home.
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