What Will Happen to Roseanne Barr’s Character on ‘The Conners’? Fans Theorize Her Fate
Although the Roseanne revival was canceled after Roseanne Barr's controversial tweet about former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, the Conners family will be returning to TV this fall. A new spinoff, currently being called The Conners, will follow the Conners family without it's matriarch. So what will happen to Roseanne's character on The Conners that will explain her absence?
ABC hasn't disclosed yet what will happen to Roseanne, but the synopsis for the new series does provide a little insight. It reads:
"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. — grapples 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."
Many fans believe this means Roseanne will be killed off the show, though there's a few different theories on how. During the revival Roseanne revealed she'd become addicted to painkillers because of pain in her knee. Dan promised they would get her knee surgery, no matter the cost. Some people believe Roseanne will die during the surgery, while others think her addiction to opioids will cause her to overdose. Regardless of how Roseanne exits, she's definitely no longer a part of the show, both on and off screen.
According to Deadline, ABC's executives were adamant that they would only proceed with a spinoff series if Barr has absolutely no involvement — creative, financial, or any other. In a statement, both Barr and series producer Tom Werner discussed the settlement that allowed for the spinoff to happen.
"I regret the circumstances that have cause me to be removed from Roseanne," Barr said. "I agree to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved and I wish the best for everyone involved." 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 Conners will feature the rest of the Roseanne revival cast, including John Goodman ("Dan"), Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie"), Sara Gilbert ("Darlene"), Lecy Goranson ("Becky"), and Michael Fishman ("D.J."). Deadline reports that all the actors who had two-year deals for Roseanne recently signed new one-year contracts for the spinoff, keeping them at the same salaries, believed to be around $300,000 an episode. The writing-producing that was in place for the second season of the revival will also return for The Conners, after new deals were made with the writers who reportedly got raises. Additionally, the pickup keeps the Roseanne crew employed as they risked being out of a job, since at the time the show was canceled most shows had already been staffed for the next season.
Despite the fact that Barr will have no involvement in the new series, many viewers are still stating they will not be watching the spinoff. "Starring the people who want us to forget they signed onto a show with a known racist and it backfired? Keep it," TV writer Ira Madison III tweeted. Many shared his sentiment, while others wondered exactly how much Barr's settlement was to get her off the show. Still, while some people may not tune in, surely a lot of others will. Roseanne was ABC's highest rated and most watched series last season, and it continues to have a supportive fan base. There's no doubt those fans will carry over to the new spinoff this fall.