Listen, we’d love to give you some insight into the plight of ABC’s Roseanne reboot spinoff, The Conners. We really would. But we can’t. Because we don’t know any details — and, according to ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, that’s exactly how the network plans to keep it.
Basically, the upcoming series is being treated as super-top secret. Speaking to Deadline at TCA on Tuesday, Dungey didn’t reveal much about the storylines fans might be able to expect other than to say it won’t be a dramatic departure from the nostalgic sitcom’s short-lived reboot.
“What I can tell you is that thematically we will be focusing on a lot of the same themes that were in the first nine episodes — what it’s like today for a family to make ends meet in a world where they might be going into foreclosure, where work is scarce, where there are a lot of different challenges in terms of raising children as a single parent. All these issues are going to be the forefront,” she shared.
As far as potential plot points go, that’s essentially all Dungey let slip. However, per Deadline, the show will focus on “the daily struggles of life in Lanford” after the iconic family of Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. experiences a “sudden turn of events.”
While one could easily assume that sudden turn is the death of Roseanne’s matriarch, Dungey didn’t confirm as much. In fact, she emphasized how seriously the entire production team is taking the new series’ secrecy — going so far as to avoid email hacks by hand-delivering everything.
ABC undoubtedly doesn’t want to lose the momentum created by the huge ratings boost the network enjoyed with the first (and only) season of their initial Roseanne reboot. They may fear that the negative publicity surrounding the show’s eponymous star could prove a hurdle — the popular reboot was abruptly canceled in May following a racially insensitive tweet made by Barr.
As Dungey tells it though, they don’t second-guess their decision to bring the beloved ‘80s series back to life.
“I don’t regret it, I am never going to regret waking up that morning and seeing the ratings from that first season, amazing,” she said, adding of the future, “It’s been a journey with ups and downs but I’m very excited about what we’re going to have with the Conners in the fall. I think it’s going to be great.”