Roseanne, one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1990s, is coming back. Following the success of Netflix’s Fuller House and the return of NBC’s Will & Grace, the classic series created by Roseanne Barr will soon be headed back to ABC.
So what do we know about the new Roseanne? Will John Goodman and Johnny Galecki be back? Here are all of the details about the Roseanne reboot, including how Barr’s surprising political views may make their way on screen.
It will consist of nine episodes
Every season of Roseanne‘s original run consisted of between 23 and 25 episodes, but the new season will only be nine episodes long. It was originally eight episodes, but ABC ordered an additional one earlier this year.
It’s not unusual for sitcoms these days to be shorter than they used to be. The first two seasons of Fuller House, after all, were only 13 episodes. The new season of Will & Grace is also only 16 episodes, with the network having increased its length from 10.
There’s no word yet about whether there could be another season or whether this revival will be a one-time thing.
Next: What we know about when the show is going to air.
It will air on ABC in 2018
This means that Roseanne will return in time for the 30th anniversary; the show originally premiered in October 1988. Unfortunately, the fact that it’s airing midseason probably means there will not be a new Halloween episode.
Next: You may have assumed that this character won’t be back, but you’re wrong.
John Goodman’s character will return, despite dying
Famously, John Goodman’s character, Dan Conner, dies at the end of Roseanne. The final episode reveals that Roseanne was writing a fictional version of her life, which is what we had been watching. In “real life,” Dan died of a heart attack.
Yet somehow, Goodman will return in the new season. It has not yet been revealed how he’ll be back. It doesn’t sound like the revival will just pretend the finale never happened, though. Barr herself said, “I wouldn’t say that it is ignoring the events of the finale, but I can confirm that Dan is definitely still alive.”
In a 2009 blog post, Barr herself imagines a reunion show in which Dan returns after having faked his death, so it’s possible she’s planning on using that idea.
Next: Despite his busy schedule, this actor will also be back for the revival.
Johnny Galecki will return for one episode
In the original series, Johnny Galecki played David, Darlene’s boyfriend and later her husband. But Galecki is now busy starring on The Big Bang Theory. So the question was would he have time to return for this revival and therefore star on two sitcoms at once? And perhaps even more importantly, would CBS let him star on a sitcom on a competing network?
Well, it was recently confirmed that Galecki will be in the Roseanne revival. However, he’s only going to be in one episode, according to Deadline. The Roseanne series finale reveals that Darlene has actually been dating Mark the whole time, and Roseanne only imagined Darlene as being with David as part of her story. But it appears that like Dan’s death, this twist will be ignored.
Next: A new cast member joins to play a character introduced in Season 9.
Emma Kenney will play Darlene and David’s daughter
In Season 9 of Roseanne, David and Darlene have a child, Harris. For the revival, Emma Kenney will play that child. Kenney is known mainly for portraying Debbie Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless.
The existence of Harris confirms the revival isn’t ignoring all of the events of Season 9. It also seemingly confirms that the twist of Darlene actually having been with Mark the whole time will not be retained.
Next: Another new young actor will be joining the show in this unexpected role.
Darlene and David also have another child
Darlene and David only had one child at the end of Season 9, but they apparently went on to have another. In September, it was reported that newcomer Ames McNamara has been cast as Mark, David and Darlene’s 8-year-old son.
According to TV Line, the casting breakdown for Mark describes him by saying, “Sensitive and bright, Mark occasionally likes to wear girls’ clothing.”
Next: This series regular will return, but she’ll be playing a different character than before.
Sarah Chalke is back, but she’s playing a different character
Roseanne fans will recall that in Season 5, Lecy Goranson, the actress who played Becky, left the show. Sarah Chalke took over as Becky, only for Goranson to return and for the episodes to weirdly cycle back and forth between Becky being played by Chalke and Goranson.
For the revival, Goranson is coming back as Becky. But weirdly, Chalke is also coming back. She’s playing a new character, the identity of whom is still a mystery. Some have speculated that Chalke will play a love interest, potentially for D.J. or maybe even for Becky herself.
Next: How will the show deal with the death of one of its actors?
Mark will reportedly not be in it
In the original series, Glenn Quinn played Mark, Becky’s boyfriend and later, her husband. But sadly, Quinn died a few years after Roseanne ended. So will the character be recast or written out?
It appears that the latter is the case. TV Line has reported that the role is not being recast and that Mark simply won’t be in the show. The fact that Darlene and David’s son is named Mark strongly suggests that the character will be killed off, with Darlene and David having given their son that name as a tribute.
For what it’s worth, in Barr’s 2009 blog post imagining a potential reunion show, she says that Mark would have died off-screen in Iraq. Once again, it’s unclear whether she’ll use that idea.
Next: This comedian who was a kid when Roseanne originally aired is its new executive producer.
Whitney Cummings is serving as the executive producer
Stepping in as executive producer is Whitney Cummings. Cummings is a comedian famous for the NBC sitcom Whitney and the Comedy Central roasts. She also co-created CBS’ 2 Broke Girls. Cummings was just six years old when Roseanne first premiered, and she says she was a big fan of it.
Also serving as executive producers of the revival will be Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, and Roseanne Barr herself; Werner and Helford both worked on the original series.
In addition, comedian Norm Macdonald, who wrote for the original show, will return as a writer on the reboot.
Next: How Donald Trump will factor into the new show.
It’s a bit political, but it will not be about Trump
Just how political will the Roseanne revival be? Barr herself voted for Donald Trump and has defended his actions as president, saying on Twitter that attacks on Trump are “really a disguised attack on American voters who rejected Obama-Clinton-Bush’s bleeding of R treasury.”
Page Six reported in May 2017 that Barr was overheard at an event saying that as soon as she saw the election results, she knew that Roseanne would be coming back. Barr herself said in July that the show is about a midwestern family, not about Trump.
Still, Laurie Metcalf recently confirmed that the show is “a bit political at times,” though she said it’s mostly focused on the lives of this family. Either way, if the series does reflect Barr’s political views, it will be the only pro-Trump sitcom on TV. Kellyanne Conway has said on Twitter that she might have to start watching.
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