Let’s try this again, shall we?
After Roseanne Barr was fired from her own show for predictably spewing racist crazy-speak, ABC has gone back to the well, sans scandal bucket, to see if they can haul more revenue up and out of this nostalgia property. “The Conners” returns on October 16 without their matriarch to see if they can hold an audience beyond the first episode (where many will no doubt tune in to learn how the show’s writers cut loose the bigoted ballast that sunk them earlier this year).
READ MORE: Roseanne Barr Reveals Details Of Her Character’s Departure From ‘The Conners’
Whether this twice-revived sitcom has any staying power is the real question, especially without the centerpiece around which this whole drama has always orbited. There’s a small, albeit vocal fanbase for conservative-minded TV shows, yet with Barr gone, it’s hard to know in what form “The Conners” will return.
Will there be a push and pull between more reasonable, tolerant forces and the secretly racist stand-ins from working-class middle America? With no Barr, the latter group may no longer exist on the show, and for better or worse, that may very well suck all of the life out of the program.
With John Goodman aboard and at the center of all of this, “The Conners” will at least be in good hands. Laurie Metcalf, still riding high off her “Lady Bird” plaudits, is also cause for some interest, as she should get more to do with Barr gone. Ratings were great for the show before it abruptly got canned (quickly becoming ABC’s highest-rated sitcom), and without the stain of the entertainment world’s most vocal bigot, it could get some traction among more politically sympathetic fans of the original.
READ MORE: John Goodman Says Roseanne Barr Is “Not A Racist” And Discusses Transition To ‘The Conners’
“The Conners” hits premieres on ABC on October 16.
Watch the first teaser below: