Will Roseanne be dead when The Conners premieres? It sure sounds that way. ABC axed the sitcom after season 1 following racist tweets by Roseanne Barr, but the story will continue when The Conners premieres in October – without Barr. In a new interview with The Times, John Goodman opened up about the shocking cancelation and the new series.
ABC hasn’t yet revealed how the new show will approach Barr’s absence, but Goodman has an idea. “It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead,” the 66-year-old actor said in the interview.
“I was broken-hearted, but I thought, ‘OK, it’s just show business, I’m going to let it go,’” he added about his initial reaction when Roseanne was officially canceled in May. “But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. I’m a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.”
He also addressed Barr’s tweet in which she referred to former White House aide Valerie Jarrett as a combination of “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes,” not wanting to say too much. “I was surprised. I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that’s probably all I should say about it,” he told The Times. “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist.”
Goodman also noted that he has reached out to Barr, 65, after the show was axed, but never got a response.
“She had to sign a paper saying that she relinquished all her rights to the show so that we could go on. I sent her an email and thanked her for that,” he said. “I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she’s still going through hell.”
The cast, including Goodman, released a statement when ABC announced that the show in June – this time titled The Conners, would be coming back without Barr: “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. 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 Conners premieres on ABC Tuesday, October 16, at 8 p.m. ET.