There is some cautious optimism that Roseanne, cancelled by ABC on Monday, could continue without co-creator and star Roseanne Barr. I hear the show’s producers will be meeting with Disney-ABC executives on Monday to pitch a revamped Roseanne without the title star (and likely the original title too).
Details about the concept that will be pitched are unclear but the show is expected to stay true to the praised first season of the revival — the series’ 11th overall — featuring the other cast members except Barr. There could be stronger emphasis on Sara Gilbert’s character Darlene, which can be expected since the revival was centered mainly on three characters, Roseanne (Barr), Dan (John Goodman) and their daughter Darlene (Gilbert) who moved back home with her kids.
As we previously reported, executive producers Tom Werner, who also executive produced the original series, and Gilbert, the main driving force behind the revival, are believed to be spearheading the efforts to continue the show and keep the writers, led by executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford, and crew employed post-cancellation.
Overall, prospects for Roseanne 2.0 look a little brighter today than they did immediately after the show’s sudden cancellation. Still, sources close to the situation caution that there are major hurdles to overcome. While independent production company Carsey-Werner owns and produces Roseanne, there are legal and rights issues that need to be settled as Barr was co-creator and executive producer on the series and has ownership/backend. Warner Bros. TV’s decision to fire Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen and continue the show without him resulted in him filing a $100 million lawsuit against the studio, eventually settled for $25 million that WBTV paid him to cover his backend.
Barr already attacked two of her Roseanne cast members, Michael Fishman and Gilbert, who had condemned her Valerie Jarrett tweets, before announcing that she forgives them. She also has indicated in her relentless tweeting over the past few days that she is ready to fight back. It is unclear whether that would involve litigation but she may mount a legal challenge should a Roseanne spinoff without her goes forward.
Roseanne co-stars Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey.