ABC reportedly planning new 'Roseanne' spin off-show
After launching a triumphant comeback in 2018, American TV sitcom Roseanne looked as if it could only get better and better. However, the successful ratings and critical acclaim all came crashing down around it when star Roseanne Barr made racist comments on Twitter.
Back in May, the series - which was the number one program in primetime among adults 18-49 - was cancelled when Barr compared former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to "the Muslim Brotherhood" and "Planet of the Apes".
The 65-year-old apologised for her comments, but the damage was done, with TV network ABC claiming they were "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values".
However, could the popular series be about to make a second return to our screens? It certainly looks like this could be the case.
Reports are claiming that ABC met with the show's executive producers on Friday to discuss ways to bring the show back without Barr, with talks continuing well into the weekend. Pretty exciting news, huh? Well, don't get too attached yet. News reports are also claiming that there are several obstacles to overcome before the second revival gets going.
The main problem is that Barr herself created the character of Roseanne Conner, meaning that she may be able to claim a financial stake in any spin-off that is produced. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dunge is said to be particularly keen to minimise Barr's benefit from any new show, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
This is thoroughly unsurprising, given the fact that Bob Iger himself - the chief executive of Disney, which owns ABC - has expressed disgust at her now-infamous racist comments on Twitter, claiming "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing."
Allegedly, one idea to get around this is that the new spin-off could be built around another character. Sources allegedly told gossip site TMZ that ABC has been talking to the cast and crew of Roseanne specifically about a show starring Darlene, Roseanne's onscreen daughter. Sources have also noted that it's likely that the entire cast — obviously without Barr — and creative team, including showrunner Bruce Helford and the same writing staff, and crew would return for the new incarnation.
Actress Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene and was an executive producer of the Roseanne revival, was actually one of the first people associated with the show to distance herself from Barr after her Twitter rant. Soon after it was posted, she wrote on social media saying:
"Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love—one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member."
So, will the revival actually become a reality? ABC has declined to comment on the situation, however, sources have suggested that a formal announcement could come this week. So keep your eyes peeled.