When ABC canceled Roseanne at a dizzying speed rarely seen in the television industry, we'd all assumed that that would be the end of the '90s reboot. It had proven itself to be divisive when it was on the air, tackling current political issues in a moderate, if not eyebrow-raising way, so for a portion of the public, it might have been a welcome relief to see the abrupt end of the show while the most loyal fans lamented its demise.
And then, on Thursday, June 21, ABC made a big announcement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Roseanne spinoff will be titled The Connors and will include the core original cast (John Goodman, Laurie Metcalfe, Sarah Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman) sans Roseanne Barr. From a description of the show released by ABC, it sounds like the show will immediately address Barr's absence with a creatively written exit and a fresh start for the family. Part of ABC's statement addresses this, stating that The Connors will begin with “a sudden turn of events” and that the Conner family have to "to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before."
ABC has approved The Connors for 10 episodes for its first official season. It is already scheduled for a fall premiere, but the specific date is still unconfirmed. The Connors will still have a prime spot in the weekly lineup, with episodes airing on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/7c.
Along with the announcement of The Connors, a joint statement was released by Goodman, Metcalfe, Gilbert, Goranson and Fishman expressing their positive outlook for The Connors. "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 wrote. "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."
The announcement of The Connors led to some very mixed reactions from the internet, with celebrities and average folk alike reacting within hours of the news.
I’m the outlier who is okay with the THE CONNORS concept. I’m not thrilled about them having collaborated with Roseanne, but I think the characters are interesting, especially Darlene and Dan.
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) June 22, 2018
— Shannon Ogden (@ShannonOgden1) June 22, 2018
It's ass-backwards to relaunch 'Roseanne' as 'The Connors.' It's like a western without John Wayne; 'Home Improvement' without Tim Allen. This isn't a spinoff: This is the SAME SHOW without its star; the Bulls without Jprdan. Just kill it. We don't need to see it die slowly…
— Art Tavana (@arttavana) June 22, 2018
I would never watch that show!! Roseanne Barr was the heart and soul of that show. And I can't even imagine "THE CONNORS" Ratings will ever be very high. ABC, SERIOUSLY!! Think about it https://t.co/nts6AooOYL
— Frostie51 (@Frostie51) June 22, 2018
They brought back ‘Roseanne’ sans Roseanne Barr in a new show called ‘The Connors’ – that didn’t take long! How about we all focus our energy on reuniting and freeing those innocent children next?
— Amy Volume⚡️ (@amyvolume) June 22, 2018
The entire first episode of the ROSEANNE spinoff should just be one unbroken shot of Roseanne falling down 70 flights of stairs for 22min.
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) June 22, 2018
ABC has worked out a Roseanne spinoff that’s 100% Roseanne free. Thank goodness that all those people who freely decided to go work for an overt racist are able to keep their jobs. Whatever.
— Touré (@Toure) June 22, 2018
Roseanne gets the axe. Here comes #TheConnors.
I didn't think ABC would follow through with the spin off
— Courtney (@courtAnatomy_93) June 22, 2018
As for Barr, she has yet to react to this new. ABC has confirmed that she will have absolutely no creative or financial involvement, meaning this is the cleanest break possible (short of keeping the show canceled for good) for ABC and The Connors.