Almost five months since ABC's much-publicized axing of its "Roseanne" revival from its lineup, the network on Tuesday premiered "The Conners", a half hour spin-off framed around the fictional family of Roseanne Conner.
Warning: This story contains spoilers about the series premiere of "The Conners".
"This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision", the executive continued.
Of course, the main questions surrounding The Conners isn't what's in them, but rather, what's missing from them. It seems The Conners isn't done dealing with Roseanne's passing yet.
Dan, working through the very bad news, tells her: 'It doesn't make any sense, I got her knees fixed, I flushed all her pills'. "I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery". The Conners could have just made her death a one-off joke; instead her absence serves as the backbone of the show - or the first season, at the very least - and informs each character moving forward.
An opioid overdose death is the kind of tragedy that the typical multi-camera sitcom can't really make amusing.
Barr's life since "Roseanne" was canceled is much more mundane than ever before, with the comedian spending most of her time organizing her files and photos.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) It's never too late. His acumen at drama proves especially essential, as the new series is constantly taking turns in heavy territory. "(But) if we didn't feel we could deliver really strong, amusing episodes, then nobody would have returned". While some fans thought the manner of the character's demise was disrespectful to "Roseanne", others felt felt the show was actually better without her. Other people, who are related to Roseanne and each other in unspecified ways, pop in and out, sad but always ready with a quip. And now, as a mom struggling to raise her two children and deal with the loss of her mother, Gilbert is where she belongs, front and center on the series. So when the Conner family returns this week, it will be without its former lead.
"The spring "Roseanne" run averaged an 8.6 overnight rating, which is 13 percent higher than the start for 'The Conners, '" TheWrap ratings guru Tony Maglio wrote. The jokes are half-clever, with one in 10 truly landing.
As far as the chances of the show's broader success, that's harder to predict. As a series, Roseanne always found its strength in its ensemble cast and their characters' unfolding lives as much as in its titular star, and with all of those players back - but with John Goodman's patriarch Dan Conner now the de facto head of the pack - The Conners is as vital and amusing and relevant as ever, and without the baggage of the real-life Barr to deal with.
The Conners reminds us that there's a fine concept for a TV show here despite all that - although, like its predecessor, there's a tendency by its writers to circumvent the thing they ought to be writing toward.