(Spoiler warning: Don’t read on if, for some reason, you still haven’t seen the series finale of the original “Roseanne” and still don’t want to know the details.)
The news that the original cast and producers of “Roseanne” wanted to revive the show was a surprise, but not a bigger surprise than the fact that John Goodman would be involved.
That’s because in the 1997 series finale of the original “Roseanne,” which ran for nine seasons on ABC, it was revealed that Goodman’s character, Dan Conner, had died of a heart attack.
Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
The entire last season of “Roseanne” took an absurdist turn, when Dan survived a heart attack, cheated on Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) with a nurse, and then the whole family won the lottery.
But, as it turns out, all of that was just a dream, or rather, a fiction invented by the titular Roseanne in a novel she wrote based on her own life. In reality, Dan did not survive the heart attack and the family did not become rich overnight.
So how to solve the Dan problem and bring Goodman back for a revival?
There’s no word yet, but Barr herself had some ideas a handful of years ago.
In a 2009 blog post, Barr revealed where all the “Roseanne” characters might be 20 years later and, yes, it addresses the Dan issue:
“D.J. gets published, Mark dies in Iraq, David leaves Darlene for a woman half his age, Darlene meets a woman and they have a test tube baby, Becky works at Walmart, Roseanne and Jackie open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford, Illinois, and pay off the mortgage before the house is foreclosed on, Arnie becomes the best friend of the Governor of Illinois, Mom sells a painting for ten grand, Nancy and Arnie remarry, Jerry and the grandsons form a band like the Jonas Brothers, Dan shows up alive after faking his death, Leon has a sex change op, [and] Bonnie gets busted for selling crack.”
The original cast is hoping to mount an eight-episode revival, with Barr, Goodman and Sara Gilbert on board to reprise their roles.
The original series executive producers Tom Werner and Bruce Helford are also on board to executive produce alongside Barr and Gilbert.
The potential revival is being shopped to broadcast and digital platforms, and original network ABC is in the mix.