ABC has ordered an additional episode of Roseanne, raising the revival series' total episode count to nine. A photo from the Roseanne set was recently released showing the (mostly) re-assembled cast doing a table read ahead of filming. The now nine-episode season is expected to air in 2018.
Inspired by the stand-up comedy of "domestic goddess" Roseanne Barr, the original Roseanne chronicled the everyday struggles of the Conner family of the fictional town of Lanford, IL, striking a chord with audiences for its grounded depiction of working-class life. Roseanne ran for nine seasons on ABC, posting huge ratings for much of its run, before finally running out of steam (due in large part to some questionable creative decisions) in its final years. The show was popular in syndication and remains one of the most-beloved sitcoms of the '80s and '90s.
Deadline reports that ABC has given the Roseanne revival a vote of confidence by ordering an additional episode, raising the season's total episode count to nine. It remains to be seen if Roseanne will continue beyond a single season, but the fact that ABC is already ordering more episodes would tend to indicate that the network is bullish on the revival's future.
Original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman (who's character Dan did not, in fact, die in the show's final season), Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf (a three-time Emmy winner as Roseanne's sister Jackie), Michael Fishman, and Alicia Goranson have all signed on to reprise their roles in the revival. Sarah Chalke, who replaced Goranson as Conner's daughter Becky for one season, is also returning in a different role. New cast members include Ames McNamara, Jayden Rey, and Emma Kenney, who all play Roseanne's grandchildren.
Conspicuously absent from the cast, and from the cast photo taken at the table read, is Johnny Galecki, who played David Healy for seven seasons on the original show. Galecki has gone on to become a highly-paid cast member of The Big Bang Theory and is apparently playing hardball with ABC in negotiations. If Galecki can't be lured back, Norm MacDonald and the rest of the series' writers will have to figure out some explanation for David's absence.
ABC's decision to order an additional episode of Roseanne on top of the original eight-episode commitment only underscores the increasing importance of revival series on the modern-day TV landscape. Will & Grace, Gilmore Girls, Fuller House, X-Files, Twin Peaks - the list of successful TV reunions goes on-and-on, and no doubt more will be coming soon.
Roseanne premieres on ABC in 2018.