The Conner family is reunited — minus one — and it feels so good.
ABC’s “Roseanne” spinoff,” “The Conners,” officially began production Friday on the Warner Bros. lot, with the network sharing a photo of stars John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Jayden Rey, Michael Fishman, Ames McNamara, Lecy Goranson, and Emma Kenney all seated around the working class clan’s iconic kitchen table set.
Noticeably absent was Roseanne Barr, whose offensive “Planet of the Apes” tweet about ex-Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett in May led to her being fired and “Roseanne” being axed by the network. But ABC soon found a way to carry on by ordering the Barr-less spinoff “The Conners.”
And last we heard of the Conner family, they were “playing catch-up” with the rest of broadcast TV’s fall slate.
ABC Entertainment Group President, Channing Dungey told TheWrap during the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this month that she has seen three outlines for the “Roseanne” spinoff sans Barr — but no script yet. And Dungey says the fact they were “behind compared to everybody else” in production is the reason the (kinda) new show didn’t present a panel during the press tour.
“We had that sort of stutter step in terms of getting up and running,” Dungey told TheWrap.
“I’ve seen three outlines,” Dungey said. “I think my team may have seen the first script yet but it hasn’t come to me. We don’t start production yet ’til the end of August, and so the feeling was we didn’t have enough yet to panel and they’re kind of playing catch-up to get back to the point where they’re on the same schedule on everyone else.”
Though the titular Roseanne isn’t coming back, family members Dan (Goodman), Jackie (Metcalf), Darlene (Gilbert), Becky (Goranson) and D.J. (Fishman) are. So are these outlines what they would have done on “Roseanne” Season 2 and just removed Roseanne from the story?
“I think some of those things are,” Dungey said. “I mean, obviously, the prism and the lens of which those stories are told is going to shift, but certain stories we wanted to tell — for example about Dan and his work, we can still tell those stories. Some stories about Darlene as a single parent — we can still tell those stories. So, there are some elements that remain the same moving forward and then there are other parts that are new and are different.”
See the first look at “The Conners” in production below.
“The Conners” will premiere Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8/7c on ABC.