'The Conners' Trailer: It's 'Roseanne' Without Roseanne

Roseanne is dead, long live The Conners. At least, that's what ABC is hoping everyone will say as they get ready to debut their new spin-off. After Roseanne Barr was fired from her own show for offensive comments on Twitter and the show was subsequently cancelled, producers scrambled to come up with a game plan. That plan involved killing off Roseanne as a character, and launching a whole new show focused on the rest of the characters. Will it work? It just might, since this is one very talented cast. Watch the first The Conners trailer below.

The Conners Trailer

Roseanne, in its original incarnation at least, was a great show. It was smart, funny, and – believe it or not – surprisingly progressive for its time. And then at some point, Roseanne Barr changed, and not for the better. When the Roseanne revival arrived on ABC, it scored huge ratings, but some took issue with Barr's less-than-kind comments on Twitter. That all came to a head in May, when the actress and comedian tweeted racist comment about Valerie Jarrett, a black woman who once served as an advisor to President Obama. In the wake of Barr's comments, ABC fired her and pulled the plug on the revival.

After this, Sara Gilbert, an actress and producer on the show (and one of the driving forces of the first revival), worked with other producers to find a solution. That solution is The Conners, a new show where Gilbert, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman and more all return without Barr. And where is Barr's character? The assumption is that she's dead. Goodman said as much in an interview, and the official Conners synopsis mentions a "sudden turn of events" which is likely a reference to Barr's character's demise:

After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family – Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. – grapple with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

So will this work? It's hard to say. Goodman and Metcalf alone make this show worth watching – they're both incredible actors. And I have no doubt morbid curiosity will make viewers tune in when The Conners starts. But it'll be interesting to see how long the momentum lasts.

The Conners premieres on October 16, 2018.