Classic ABC sitcom ROSEANNE is in the works for a limited revival with original stars Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, and Laurie Metcalf in talks to return. The series joins a growing list of sitcom revivals and reboots including Will & Grace at NBC and Fuller House on Netflix.
The show aired from 1988 to 1997 and centered around the Conner family, an Illinois working-class family with Barr as the titular matriarch. Back in 2009, Barr gave a detailed account on where each of the main characters would be if the show returned. Roseanne and Jackie are opening the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford, while Dan reappears after faking his death.
Goodman and Gilbert recently filmed a mini-Roseanne revival for The Talk, which Gilbert created, co-hosts, and executive produces.
The reboot will be executive produced by Tom Werner, Barr, and Bruce Helford, who executive produced the original and will be joined by Gilbert and Whitney Cummings. Helford and Cummings are co-running the series. Multiple networks are currently bidding, including ABC where the series originally aired, and Netflix who has found success with series reboots.
Revivals have been on the rise, with great successes like Gilmore Girls, Fuller House, and Will & Grace‘s election-themed reunion. As more networks try to revive their own projects, the number of successes declines. Heroes: Reborn, The X-Files, Arrested Development all thrilled fans with the news of their returns, but fan and critical reactions were mixed to negative.
There has been a great public debate going since the election over Hollywood existing in a bubble that doesn’t understand middle America, and Roseanne could prove a strong attempt to bridge that gap. Considering their target audience though, Barr’s idea from 2009 to have Roseanne and Jackie as owners of a medical marijuana seems unlikely, especially if the series lands at Netflix which is about to premiere Disjointed starring Kathy Bates.
The show will have the opportunity one thing that so many other reboots have not had to deal with: correcting the finale. Roseanne has one of the most controversial show endings in television history in which Roseanne Conner reveals that the series is actually a story written by its heroine and that Goodman’s character Dan has, in fact, died from the heart attack at the end of season eight. With Goodman in the process of boarding the project, any story would have to find a way to reroute the course the series took at the end.
Emily J | TV Editor