With the calendar moving ever more closely to Oct. 16, the time has come for the cast members of The Conners to finally start sharing their true feelings about the new show. Not to mention the challenges of taking what could have been the end of the road after ABC cancelled Roseanne following a racist tweet from Roseanne Barr, and somehow pushing forward without her.
In an interview with People, Sara Gilbert (who plays Darlene Conner and serves as executive producer on the show), explains, “Any sadness that we feel over what we’ve lost, we’re hopefully channeling into an honest way into the show. And our show has always been able to deal with heavy topics, particularly for a sitcom. It’s been kind of built into the mix.” Which has been made obvious in the first trailer for the show featuring new footage that was recently released.
Laurie Metcalf (Jackie Harris, Roseanne Conner’s sister) is the first to admit that there’s a lot of risk connected in trying to pick up the pieces of a show that was so successful in both its original 1988 to 1997 incarnation and the continuation that debuted last season to phenomenal numbers. “We all decided as a group,” she points out in the same article, “to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back.”
For John Goodman (Dan Conner), the ability to even attempt a show like this comes from the fact that the cast and crew have been leaning on each other for support, which, as it turns out, has been highly motivating in their efforts to try and pull it off. “It’s different, but we can create something new from it,” he says, believing that this is an opportunity to bring the story to a close (however many seasons it takes) as opposed to the network just cancelling Roseanne and wiping its corporate hands of the whole thing.
Notes John to People, “There was a feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready. There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story.”
The Conners debuts on ABC Oct. 16.