With less than a month to go before the Roseanne spin-off premieres, ABC released the first photos from The Conners. But, what might be even more interesting to fans is the description of The Conners premiere, which hints at how the new series has written Roseanne Barr off the show after she was fired by the network for a racist tweet. (Barr has since apologized and deleted the tweet.) It's safe to say from the looks of these photos,The Conners is going to be a rollercoaster of emotions in its first season.
On Sept. 12, ABC released four new images from the premiere episode, titled "Keep on Truckin'," including one in which Dan (John Goodman), Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), and Becky (Lecy Goranson) look shaken up. This might have something to do with the description of the premiere, which states "a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before," which sounds like another clue that Roseanne, who, in the finale of Season 10 was slated to have knee surgery and even spoke with Dan about the chance of her not surviving it, isn't long for this world.
In an interview with the U.K.'s Sunday Times last month, Goodman said that Roseanne was dead in the spin-off. "I guess he'll be mopey and sad because his wife's dead," Goodman said of what Dan will be like on The Conners. It was the first time a member of the cast confirmed what many fans already assumed.
While the show itself has not confirmed what will happen to Barr's character in the spin-off, as the premiere description teases, it's bound to be sad. But, from the looks of the photos of Darlene and Becky bonding and Dan and his grandson Mark (Ames McNamara) doing the same, The Conners will continue to showcase the ups and downs of being a family. This includes looking at a family after a monumental loss leaves them grieving, but having to go on with their lives.
In a June statement announcing the 10-episode season, ABC explained that The Conners will show the family in a new light "after a sudden turn of events." Sound familiar? Just like Roseanne, this show will have the Conners "grappl[ing] with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails."
In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Emma Kenney, who plays Darlene's daughter Harris, didn't elaborate on what happens to Roseanne in the spin-off, but she did say it was handled in a "very professional" way. Following her firing, Barr agreed to part ways with the show and will not benefit financially from the spin-off.
Kenney also made it clear she's happy the cast is getting a chance to play the Conner family again. "There’s just so many more stories that need to be told through the Conner family and so many other different aspects of life that we’re going to get to tell," she teased, "and I’m really excited and grateful for that.”
Many fans are also grateful that without Roseanne, the Conners will continue to make them laugh, and very possibly, make them cry.