ABC has announced a spin-off to its hit show Roseanne, but without its controversial star, Roseanne Barr. The reboot of the popular 90’s sitcom of the same name was cancelled by the network on May 29 after Barr posted a racist tweet about former White House advisor Valerie Jarrett.
The network has ordered a 10-episode series, tentatively titled The Connors, after the working-class family on which Roseanne was centred. Original cast members including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert will return, but Barr’s character will be written off owing to a “sudden turn of events”, Deadline reported.
“The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love. The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago,” ABC said in a statement.
The spin-off was announced after Barr, who was also an executive producer and writer on Roseanne, reached a settlement with co-producer Tom Werner agreeing not to have any financial or creative involvement in the new series. “I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne,” Barr said in a statement. “I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved.”
Last month, Barr had tweeted about Jarret: “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr later deleted the tweet apologised, saying her joke was “in bad taste”.
In a statement the next day, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Roseanne been one of the network’s most-watched shows and had been revived for a second season shortly before it was abruptly canned.