When the fall TV line-up begins airing over the next two months, fans will notice that the hugely successful reboot of the 1990s hit series Roseanne will be absent from their TV guide. In its place is The Conners, the reboot of the reboot, which was announced in the wake of show creator and star Roseanne Barr writing a racist tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. Now, Barr has addressed how the new show will continue without her character and it actually makes a lot of sense.
Speaking to YouTuber, Brandon Straka this week, Barr said that her characters’ absence will be addressed by killing off the family’s matriarch via an opioid overdose. “Oh ya, they killed her,” said Barr. “They have her die of an opioid overdose.”
The death of Barr’s character was previously confirmed by John Goodman, who plays Barr’s husband Dan Conner. Goodman told the UK publication, The Times in August that the new series will move forward without Roseanne by killing the character. “I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead,” Goodman said of his character Dan.
It’s a storyline that will fit neatly into the new series, with Barr’s character struggling with an addiction to painkillers throughout the nine-episode reboot this past spring. When the finale aired in May, Barr’s character promised her husband Dan that she would stop taking pain medication. In one of the final shots, viewers saw that Roseanne had not kept her promise and was continuing to abuse pain medication.
It’s almost as if the writers knew they would need an exit strategy should Barr tweet something hugely offensive and inappropriate. Almost…
“I wanted to show [opioid struggle] in the show,” Barr told Straka. “But I was never going to have Roseanne die of an opioid overdose. It’s so cynical and horrible. She should have died as a hero or not at all … It wasn’t enough to [fire me], they had to so cruelly insult the people who loved that family and that show.”
We also think it’s cruel to tweet that a woman looks like she’s half ape, but you know, we’re funny like that. As for the character Roseanne dying as a hero, that’s still a possibility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 115 people are dying every day in the US by opioid overdose. Considering the high likelihood that many of the millions of people who tuned into the Roseanne reboot will also watch the new series The Conners, Roseanne’s death may help open the conversation of family’s struggling with drug dependency. There’s got to be some silver lining out of this awful tweet, right?
The Conners premieres Tuesday, October 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.