ABC officially confirmed today what has been speculated for months. A revival of the hit blue-collar family sitcom Roseanne has been greenlighted at ABC. The eight-episode reboot, which Deadline first reported exclusively, will feature the original cast – Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Michael Fishman (D.J.) and Lecy Goranson (Becky). It’s slated to premiere in 2018. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role.
There’s been a question of whether Goranson or Chalke would play the Becky character. Goranson originated the role before exiting in Season 5 to attend college. That’s when Chalke was cast and the two split the role in Season 8 before Chalke handled the part solely for the final ninth season.
Another thing that’s clear — Dan (Goodman) is alive. In the series’ finale, it was revealed that the character had previously died of a heart attack and his appearance throughout the final season was actually a manifestation of Roseanne’s character’s writing. Barr, however, came up with a workaround in a 2009 blog post if a reunion series ever were to happen. In it, she imagines “Dan shows up alive after faking his own death.” Stay tuned for that one.
“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,” said ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey.
When it premiered on ABC, the series broke new ground for its realistic portrayal of a working-class family, the Conners, barely scraping by in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. It also dominated the ratings as one of the highest-rated television series on the air for its near-decade run. A comedy about ordinary people who faced day-to-day survival with a sense of the absurdity of it all, the inimitable Roseanne was its epicenter. The Conner family will continue to deal with the economic challenges of living pay check to pay check in 2018.
In its nine-season run, the series won a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe Award for best television series (comedy or musical). Barr and Goodman each won Golden Globes for best performance by an actress and actor. Barr went on to win an Emmy as lead actress, and Metcalf won three supporting actress Emmys for her work on the series.
Barr will executive produce, along with Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings and Tony Hernandez. The series hails from Carsey-Werner Television.