The series premiere of The Conners is just a few weeks away, and ABC is answering the biggest question around the new show: What’s next for the family after life with Roseanne? That question has been on viewers’ minds since the eponymous star was fired from her recently revived sitcom, which itself was promptly canceled after some of Barr’s abhorrent tweets caught the attention of the media. And so, unwilling to leave a successful sitcom off its fall schedule, ABC opted to repackage the series as The Conners, a Roseanne-less continuation of the central family’s ups and downs that welcomed back series mainstays John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, and Alicia Goranson.
The new series will also make room for The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki to appear as David, Darlene’s ex, and it will also feature Juliette Lewis, who can also be seen this fall in the HBO series Camping. It seems as though The Conners is set to carry on without its matriarch — just like the ‘80s sitcom Valerie did when it became The Hogans after losing its titular star, Valerie Harper — but the series isn’t going to forget about the character whose sudden passing paved the way for this new show.
The new promo takes a mostly humorous approach to the idea of the family moving on, without addressing the offscreen death directly. As such, the video focuses mainly on Jackie and Darlene, who are fairly upbeat and will presumably be the two who will fill he void left by Roseanne. In one of the better jokes for the new series, Jackie inquires as to the family’s plans for the upcoming holidays, to which Darlene replies they’ll continue the tradition of spending all their money on Halloween leaving them with nothing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Take a look at the promo below:
The new series seems confident in its ability to move forward with an exploration of life after Roseanne, and given the strength of the cast that’s still involved — Goodman, Metcalf, and Gilbert, in particular — there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. Those three were always the most accomplished actors on the show, and now the writers will be able dedicate more time to crafting material befitting their experience and talent. And from the looks of it, they’re going to do just that.
There’s a lot riding on the new series, not the least of which is the expectations that it will be able to match or even exceed the impressive ratings earned by the first Roseanne revival when it premiered. It’s anyones’ guess how The Conners will perform, but hopefully it will do so without also being a lightning rod for controversy.
The Conners premieres Tuesday, October 16 @8pm on ABC.