Closer Weekly - - Contents - — Bruce Fretts, with re­port­ing by Rick Egusquiza

How the hit sit­com plans to con­tinue in the wake of its tit­u­lar star’s Twit­ter scan­dal and de­par­ture.

Can you imag­ine Roseanne with­out Roseanne Barr? ABC can. Less than a month af­ter can­cel­ing the top-rated sit­com re­boot in the af­ter­math of a racist tweet by the ac­tress, the net­work an­nounced it was bring­ing back the se­ries sans its tit­u­lar star.

“We are grate­ful to have reached this agree­ment to keep our team work­ing as we con­tinue to ex­plore sto­ries of the Con­ner fam­ily,” ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Tom Werner says of the re­vived se­ries, which is ten­ta­tively ti­tled The Con­ners. Sara Gil­bert, who co-stars as daugh­ter Dar­lene and ex­ec­u­tive­pro­duced the re­boot, is ex­pected to be­come the show’s cen­tral fig­ure, with more fo­cus on her chil­dren: re­bel­lious teen Har­ris (Emma Ken­ney) and gen­der-fluid Mark (Ames McNamara). “I’m so ex­cited,” Sara says.

That’s a feel­ing shared by her fel­low cast mem­bers, all of whom will re­turn to their roles for a 10-episode sea­son this fall. “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,” Sara, along with John Good­man, Lau­rie Met­calf, Michael Fish­man and Lecy Go­ran­son, said in a state­ment. “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.”


When the net­work an­nounced it was mov­ing for­ward with­out Roseanne, she is­sued her own state­ment, say­ing, “I re­gret the cir­cum­stances that have caused me to be re­moved from Roseanne...and I wish the best for ev­ery­one in­volved.” She ex­pressed even more emo­tional re­morse in a pod­cast in­ter­view with Rabbi Sh­mu­ley Boteach that was recorded only two days af­ter the scan­dal broke but re­leased to the pub­lic sev­eral weeks later: “I’m so sorry that I was so un­clear and stupid…. I’ve lost every­thing.”

Most of her co-stars “feel sorry for Roseanne,” an in­sider tells Closer. “They didn’t like what she said, but she never said those things on the set.”

The fate of her char­ac­ter re­mains un­known. In last sea­son’s fi­nale, Roseanne Con­ner was bat­tling an opi­oid de­pen­dency and prepar­ing to un­dergo life-threat­en­ing surgery. Ac­cord­ing to the net­work, “Af­ter a sud­den turn of events, the Con­ners are forced to face the daily strug­gles of life in

“I agreed to the set­tle­ment in or­der that 200 jobs could be saved.” — Roseanne

Lan­ford in a way they never have be­fore.”

That de­scrip­tion led some to sus­pect Roseanne’s char­ac­ter will be killed off, just as the char­ac­ters of prob­lem­atic stars Va­lerie Harper and Charlie Sheen were on Va­lerie and Two and a Half Men, re­spec­tively (see side­bar). “They don’t want to make Roseanne’s ab­sence an on­go­ing storyline,” the in­sider says. “They want a clean break.”

To achieve that, Roseanne, 65, agreed to re­ceive no credit or money for the new sea­son. “That was a ma­jor sur­prise,” says the in­sider. “No one re­ally thought she would go that qui­etly.”

But she has, and the show will move for­ward. “The Con­ner fam­ily rep­re­sents ac­cep­tance,” says Emma. “I feel so blessed to be able to show that this fall.”

Ames McNamara, Sara Gil­bert, Lau­rie Met­calf, Emma Ken­ney, Jay­den Rey, Roseanne Barr, Michael Fish­man, John Good­man and

Lecy Go­ran­son

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