The Conners may not kick off with a cackle. The Roseanne Barr-less ABC spinoff, which will follow the Conner family without their memorable matriarch, will change things up from the get-go—and that includes the iconic opening sequence that Roseanne fans have known since the original series made its debut in 1988.
In a new interview with TVLine, The Conners showrunner Bruce Helford confirms that a new opening title sequence is being created for the spinoff’s premiere next month.
“There will certainly be a new opening. And you will see it in the first episode.”
The Conners executive producer also teased that viewers may be surprised by the “location” of the opener because it won’t be at the top of the premiere episode. Helford told TVLine that for The Conners premiere, the opening will pop up in an unusual spot.
“[It] won’t be at the beginning of the episode. It will be somewhere in the episode. And you’ll know it when you see it.”
Helford did not confirm if The Conners opening sequence will be set at the franchise’s kitchen table where it was for Roseanne’s first seven seasons and for the Season 10 revival. Past Roseanne seasons opened with the Conner family gathered around the clan’s kitchen table eating pizza, Chinese takeout, or even playing poker.
For the earlier seasons of the show, the wordless Roseanne theme song was played on the saxophone, but for the final season of the original run, the theme song was recorded by Blues Traveler and included lyrics and a distorted harmonica. The Season 9 opener featured an age progression montage of the Conner family, but the opening sequence to the original Roseanne series always ended with Barr’s iconic cackling laugh.
When the Roseanne revival was picked up this year 20 years after the original series first aired, the opening sequence went back to the kitchen table format, but the expanded family included the Conner grandkids. The buzzing dining table captured dinner time with the Conners and ended with Roseanne’s granddaughter, Mary (Jayden Rey), running up to her before Roseanne licked her food and burst into laughter.
With Barr now out after being fired by ABC for the ill-fated tweet she posted about Valerie Jarrett earlier this year, the 10-episode Conners offshoot will pick up following a “sudden turn of events,” as “the family is “forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before,” per the network’s synopsis.
There is no word yet on how Barr will be written out of the franchise she helped create, but John Goodman, who played Roseanne’s husband, Dan Conner, on Roseanne, recently suggested in an interview with The Sunday Times that Barr’s character will be killed off in the spinoff. Goodman told the Times his character will “be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
It will be strange for fans to see the Conner clan without their mama bear. Last week, a 15-second teaser clip for The Conners, posted by Variety, showed the recognizable Conner living room with an empty living room couch. In addition, the cast’s first-ever set photo showed the cast gathering for a table read at the Conner kitchen table—sans Roseanne.
Take a look at the Roseanne opening sequences below to see how the show opened in seasons 1 and 10.