ABC's upcoming Roseanne revival spinoff The Conners will be bringing back all of Roseanne Conner's (Roseanne Barr) grandchildren, played by Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jordan Rey. This news comes just a day after John Goodman confirmed Roseanne will be killed off in The Conners, although details about the character's death have not been given. Regardless of how she is killed off, the show will be moving on without this controversial figure, focusing on the rest of the Conner family, and it seems clear that practically the entire cast is being welcomed back, except Barr.
ABC's Roseanne revival premiered to huge ratings, with over 18.4 million viewers tuning in it became the largest sitcom debut in the past three years, which lead to a quick season 2 renewal from ABC just a few days after the premiere. While the ratings held strong in the second week, they ultimately started sliding consistently, dropping to 10.5 million viewers by the season finale. But after Barr's racist tweet about former Obama administration aide Valerie Jarrett went viral, ABC not only swiftly canceled the hit revival, but quickly put plans in place to continue the show without her, which lead to The Conners getting an official series order and an October 16 premiere.
It has already been confirmed that John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (D.J.) will return, but today's news from Deadline confirms that the grandkids will all be back as well. Kenney, who played Darlene's daughter Harris, was one of the first to speak out against Barr's racist tweet, stating on Twitter that she had called her manager about quitting Roseanne, when she was informed that the show had been canceled. Kenney also reacted to the news today about Harris' return, stating she loves "being part of the Conner family and I'm so excited to share that Harris is back for #TheConners."
Just weeks before the show was canceled, ABC president Channing Dungey hinted Roseanne season 2 would move away from politics, focusing more on the Conner family dynamic. The show made headlines for its political connections, most notably that Roseanne Conner was a Donald Trump supporter (like Barr herself), but by the end of the nine-episode first season, the politics were downplayed. ABC has handed out a 10-episode order for The Conners, with its October 16 premiere at 8 PM kicking off the network's Tuesday comedy block, that includes new series The Kids Are Alright at 8:30 PM, Black-ish at 9 PM and Splitting Up Together at 9:30 PM.
The return of all the grandkids will certainly help solidify the family dynamic, but perhaps the biggest question going into this series is how they will kill off Roseanne Conner. The irony is that Dan Conner was revealed to be dead in the original series finale of Roseanne, but in the opening moments of the revival's premiere, they addressed it right away with a joke about Dan sleeping with a sleep apnea machine. Regardless, given that Barr will have no involvement whatsoever in this series, her death will have had to take place off screen, and it's possible that The Conners may even begin at the funeral. Whether or not the characters will take any parting shots at this volatile character or address her politics in The Conners remains to be seen, but the premiere may end up being the most anticipated event of the fall TV season, just to see how Roseanne Conner's death is handled.