Roseanne's new sitcom: Could she be resurrecting the Connors?

Rosannebed_lEarlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Roseanne Barr was plotting a return to primetime; she’s working on developing a new sitcom for Fox in which she’d play the matriarch of a family. Sound familiar? Barr is famous for her spot-on portrayal of working class clan leader Roseanne Connor from the ground-breaking ’80s-’90s sitcom Roseanne, which centered on a hard-up family in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois.


After hearing this exciting news, I recalled a back-and-forth I’d had with the actress recently. Last fall, for the 20th anniversary of Roseanne, I pulled together an exhaustive oral historyof the show. One interesting tidbit that came out of my two-hoursit down with Barr was a comment she made about where the Connor family would be today: "I’ve always said now that if they were on TV, [son] DJ would have been killed in Iraq and [the Connors] would have lost their house," she told me. When I asked for more details on where the rest of the Connors—Jackie, Becky, Darlene, David, and Mark—would be, Barr clammed up, telling me, "Your question is intellectual property that may be developed later, so I don’t want to get into that." I pressed a bit further, but she wasn’t having it: "No preview, absolutely not."

Given that she’s developing another family sitcom—with former Roseanne executive producer Caryn Mandabach, no less—and that she’s clearly thought about where the Connors would be now (a subject she views as "intellectual property"), my question is: Are the Connors coming back to TV? Could Roseanne be plotting a rebirth of the family with her as the grandmotherly matriarch ruling over a brood of fully-grown children and young grandchildren?

Armed with all this information, PopWatchers, I ask you: Would you want to see Roseanne Barr launch a reboot of the Connor clan? Would it even make sense, given all the craziness with the final season (Dan dying, Mark with Darlene, Becky with David, etc.)? What do you think all of the characters would be up to today? Would such a working-class comedy fly in today’s wealth-obsessed prime time landscape? Sound off!

More Roseanne on EW:
A ‘Roseanne’ family reunion
Roseanne Barr plotting primetime return with family comedy
Defending Roseanne Barr by Ken Tucker
Review: ‘Roseanne’
Roseanne Barr’s national blunder


Comments (44 total) Add your comment
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    • just me

      I thought Jackie’s mom was lesbian?

      • bradley monroe

        No, the series finale reveals all ;)

    • brooks

      no if you watch the last episode she says my sister in real life is gay. and that last season was crap.

  • George

    Does anyone really care tho?? I think it would be a mistake to bring those characters back, especially if Roseanne has anything to do with the writing. Move on Roseanne and bring us something new.

    • Samantha

      By the way Roseanne is a gifted comedian and has written all of her own comedy. (She’s done stand up comedy before look it up)
      So even if she did decide to write most of the story it’d be just as hilarious if not more so now.
      And i believe the fans would care. Obviously not you = P

  • Sharon

    I watch the reruns on Nick at Nite sometimes – I love the early years, but even before the mess that was the last season, the show started to become a caricature of itself – Roseanne just become more and more angry and strident – it wasn’t a sitcom so much as a soapbox for her various grievances and causes – the last few seasons are just unpleasant to watch. If she can return to the original concept, I might want to watch.

  • LEE

    i used to love roseanne… pms i love you was one of my fav epsiodes…but the more control over the show she got the less i watched..the way she and all the females leads treated the men was sexist and just out right disrepectful… i used to love the way dan and her would loving banter and pick at each other…but the turned into nothing but bittereness in roseanne character i really cannot watch anything after the 3rd season or so

  • spielster

    I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time for a prime time sitcom to focus on such a family. The Connor’s could be one of my favorite TV families of all time, but Barr and her writing staff’s ability to tackle serious issues like domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, layoffs, and even the normal every family crap with such a broad stroke of humor was refreshing. I felt that I could easily get along with the Connor clan and I would personally love to see them back on TV. Sadly, we wont be seeing Dan due to the worst season in TV history.

  • Felish

    It would be awesome to see a working class family again on tv suffering from today’s economy. They should also work the death of Glen Quinn “Mark” into the story… an Iraq angle perhaps?

  • whatcha

    I completely forgot that Dan died. What a mess that last year was. I’m ambivalent about seeing them back, but anything with Roseanne will be interesting. But it was her abysmally treated writing staff that made that show come alive, and many of them are much more successful than she was. I mean people like: Chuck Lorre, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Bruce Rasmussen, Norm MacDonald are just a few.

  • Lynny

    I’m there. What perfect timing for a real family to be shown on TV.

  • Liza M

    “Roseanne” is and will always be my favorite show! I still watch it every morning while I am getting ready for work! In my opinion that was the last quality sitcom and nothing could ever be as good or as relevant to my life! I would love to see another show like that! Might bring me back to the sitcom world!

  • Nicole

    I love Roseanne, the show. I still watch it in reruns and laugh out loud more than a lot of other sitcoms. I felt especially that the chemistry between Roseanne and Darlene, Roseanne and Dan and Roseanne and Jackie was just amazing. As much as I would love to revisit those days with a new show, there are problems: Dan is supposed to be dead; Glenn Quinn has sadly passed away, Johnny Galecki has a hit with Big Bang Theory, and Sarah Chalke has Scrubs (for now, at least). I supposed they could always go with original Becky but I haven’t seen her in anything; same with D.J. – are they even still acting? I would love to see Roseanne reunite with Laurie Metcalfe in any capacity though – they are hysterical together.

    • just me

      Nicole, real quickly–Laurie Metcalfe was on The Big Bang Theory and will be the voice of Andy’s mom on Toy Story 3. Andy was also her son’s name on Roseanne.

      Michael Fishman works behind the scenes for now. Not a bad thing at all!

      The original Becky Alecia/Lecy Goranson still acts. I just saw the some repeat on cable and there she was and she’s working on “The Extra Man” due out next year.

      I know some enterprising actors have managed to juggle multiple projects, and I personally would love to see this family who put the FUN in dysFUNctional come back for an update. I’ll watch a repeat of a sitcom over a reality show almost anytime.

      If they do, I hope they find a way to write Dan back into the show, and of course work Mark into the plotline somehow.

      Can you tell I like the Conner’s and their lives?

  • Susan

    I love Rosanne. But seriously? I get quite enough of the depressing news through the actual news. I don’t want to turn on a sitcom and hear more about the state of our country. I want to turn on a sitcom and be taken away from reality for 30 minutes.

  • Jonathan

    This could turn out to be a smash success. With the economy the way it is, people are longing for another realistic sitcom that tackles real issues.
    The problem is that the quality of Roseanne’s talent is inconsistent. The first 7 seasons of her show were incredible, but the last two seasons were pretty bad. And although her stand up in the ’80s was groundbreaking, her latest attempts in recent years have failed.
    Creative people like Roseanne are usually a bit crazy. But if Roseanne can put her creative and typically revolutionary ideas into the hands of talented writers and producers, she’ll have another hit on her hands. Obviously, she herself can write great jokes and storylines…but sitcoms need talent from all different kinds of people in order to be successful.
    Go Roseanne! Go! I have faith in you!

  • Nick

    It isn’t funny to play with people’s emotions. If this were to come to fruitation, it would be a phenominal return to a time in television history that has been lost but most want back. Wealth-obsessed America is slowly rotting away (look at the economy) and we need to start abandoning the “American Idols” on reality TV and return to our escapist roots – what we use television for. I want to relate to the Conners again!

  • wg

    Um, does no one remember “Archie Bunker’s Place”? Exactly.

  • Danielle

    Had Roseanne not ruined the WHOLE show by the way she ended it.
    oh Dan died a year ago. Becky was really married to David. Darlene was married to Mark.
    PLEASE NO!!!!!!!

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