During ABC’s Women of Comedy panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday, audiences heard from The Connors star Sara Gilbert, writer and producer from Jimmy Kimmel Live Molly McNearney and The Kids Are Alright star Mary McCormack.
Gilbert opened up about being tasked last year with rebooting Roseanne, the series whose original run during the 1990’s gave her her start. After an outburst cost series creator and lead Roseanne Barr to lose her job, it was back to the drawing board.
The result was a reboot of a reboot titled, The Conners. The series was recently renewed for a second season by ABC.
“We’re really excited because we feel like we have all these stories to tell,” Gilbert said. “We’ve always felt that the middle class in middle America there are people that we love to represent and whose stories we love to tell.
We’re excited we’re going to be able to continue doing that and see where these characters go.”
The Emmy-nominated actress didn’t jump into The Conner spin-off lightly. She admits she wanted to make sure there was a story there to tell after the Roseanne series was cancelled.
“We wanted to make sure that there was a show to be made,” she said. “And that we felt that we could make a show that we could be proud of. I think we all had this burning desire to finish telling these stories.”
Similar to The Conners, McCormack’s The Kids Are All Right follows a working class family led by mean matriarch Peggy Cleary. The Tim Doyle-created comedy takes place in suburban Los Angeles in the 1970’s.
“A lot of the issues [from the 1970’s] are still the same today,” McCormack explained. “Our family has ten people and three bedrooms and one bathroom. I do a lot of shushing on the set and I don’t think I’m very popular. I do that at home, too. My kids at home call me Peggy.
They say, ‘Oh no, she’s being Peggy’ I like it though because I like playing her. Sometimes, they write her so mean that I get dizzy. I mean, I’m really tough on those kids but come on.”