‘The Conners’ minus fired Roseanne Barr is one risky prospect. We’ve got details on how ABC execs are afraid the show will fail without its longtime lead character.
Thanks to what Roseanne Barr calls a “misunderstood tweet” in May, she quickly was fired by ABC and the wildly successful revival of her 1990s sitcom was cancelled. The network thought her tweet about Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett was racist and within hours Roseanne was out of a job. Now the show is going on without her and the rest of the cast is coming back for The Conners. ABC execs are fearful it will be a flop without the program’s star and formerly title character. Sources tell DailyMailTV that it would have been far more prudent to give her a suspension rather than immediately terminate her. As a result, “The whisper across ABC is that they will not even be a quarter of what Roseanne achieved last season,” an insider tells DMTV.
“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation,” one insider says. “This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.”
Early in the morning of May 29, the comedienne responded to someone’s political tweet with the comment “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby= vj.” Roseanne later claimed she had no idea Valerie Jarrett was black, but as a result the tweet was construed as racist. Hours later ABC cancelled Roseanne outright despite it’s monster ratings, calling her tweet “abhorrent” and “repugnant.” Roseanne added that she was out of it on Ambien and a few beers when she wrote the tweet.
“The morning the racist tweet scandal blew up, Roseanne offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show but Ben and Channing weren’t having any of that and wanted her gone. Why not have her front a PSA for the network on racism and cyber bullying?” the insider continues. “They could’ve suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season. I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery.”
“While they worked out her fate, her character could have faced serious complications and fought for her life, while simultaneously making Roseanne fight for her career with a national apology tour,” the source adds. Roseanne’s character is reportedly going to be killed off in the season opener from an opioid overdose.
Now ABC is reportedly realizing that viewers may not tune in to watch what is essentially Roseanne minus the title character and matriarch of the family. “When we greenlit The Conners we thought that the public would tune in to see the family return but what we’ve discovered is that people want Roseanne – they don’t want the family by themselves,” a second source tells DMTV. “The comments on social media tend to skew in favor of Roseanne and slam The Conners and the cast members who came back. Even dedicated fans of the Conner family feel conflicted about supporting a show that so swiftly eliminated the show’s matriarch and creator.”