In the reboot everyone saw coming thanks to a spate of trade reports in recent weeks, the ABC sitcom from the ’90s will return on the network sometime next year.
In a statement, ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey said, “The Conners’ joys and struggles are as relevant — and hilarious — today as they were then, and there’s really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne.”
Details other than cast and length (eight episodes) were sketchy, but this particular coup is evident: Dungey managed to assemble the original cast, with one major exception — Johnny Galecki, who stars in CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” Otherwise the original gang is all here, including Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Michael Fishman (D.J.) and Lecy Goranson (Becky). Sarah Chalke, who played Becky in later years, will be in another unspecified role, per ABC.
For Barr, 64, this marks her return to series television for the first time since another Barr sitcom, “The Roseanne Show,” wrapped after a few seasons in 2000. She’s had cameos here and there (Carla Fern on “The Office,” for example). Besides television, she also ran for president back in 2012, on a so-called “Green Tea Party” platform.
Even after all these years, Barr remains a legend at ABC: Talented and combative, she produced a sitcom that in its early years had just about as much cache as “Twin Peaks” — also reviving this Sunday — but with a lot more viewers and Emmys. She famously feuded with ABC Entertainment presidents and brawled with Matt Williams, long credited as “creator” of “Roseanne.” In fact, “Roseanne” was all Roseanne, a reflection of her comedy, her talent, her moxy and especially her voice. The show made Goodman a big star, the biggest to come out of “Roseanne” other than Galecki. He also stood by her during the many public fights, waged in print and elsewhere with the network.
What will the reboot be about, other than the Conners, 20 years hence? Expect perhaps the expected: working-class struggles in a land of plenty, where the ruling class rules and where presidents are billionaires. Barr should have plenty to say about all this. She always did.