ABC has released the first photos from the Roseanne spinoff, The Conners. The Roseanne Barr-less offshoot of the long-running sitcom will feature the beloved Conner family without their mighty matriarch. Now, viewers are getting an early look at what a Roseanne-free episode will look like.
A synopsis for The Conners pilot episode posted on ABC Press reveals the premiere episode is titled “Keep on Truckin’.” Per the synopsis, “a sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. “
John Goodman (“Dan”), Laurie Metcalf (“Jackie”), Sara Gilbert (“Darlene”), Lecy Goranson (“Becky”), Michael Fishman (“D.J.”), Emma Kenney (“Harris”), Ames McNamara (“Mark”) and Jayden Rey (“Mary”) will reprise their roles as the beloved Conner characters in the spinoff of this year’s Roseanne revival.
The new photos posted by ABC feature Roseanne’s husband and daughters looking very concerned — Dan looks downright horrified! — about something as Roseanne’s sister Jackie comes to the door. In another shot, Jackie and Darlene appear to be confused as they stand together in the kitchen — with a lot of casserole dishes on the counter behind them. Happier photos feature Conner sisters Becky and Darlene sharing a laugh and Dan offering up a toast to grandson Mark. You can see all of the new photos posted by ABC below.
In a new interview with TV Guide, The Conners showrunner Bruce Helford confirmed the Conner matriarch’s absence “will be addressed in the first episode.”
Helford also said Dan Conner (Goodman) will have to” step up in a lot of ways.”
“He holds his family together. [Without Roseanne] everyone takes up new responsibilities, which is really interesting in that family dynamic.”
While it hasn’t been confirmed that Roseanne Conner will be killed off in The Conners, John Goodman told The Sunday Times his character will be “mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.”
Fans are dying to know what happened to Roseanne (in real life, Barr was fired by ABC after she posted an inappropriate tweet), but the phrase “sudden turn of events” could mean a variety of things. Some fans fear the Uber driving character died, while others wonder if they were sent to rehab to deal with an addiction to painkillers — a storyline that was addressed in the Roseanne season finale, “Knee Deep.” When fans last saw Roseanne she was battling an opioid dependency and headed for a serious surgery.
Whatever the scenario, it sounds like it will be a permanent ending for the iconic ABC character after “Keep on Truckin’.” An insider told Closer Weekly that producers “don’t want to make Roseanne’s absence an ongoing storyline. They want a clean break.”
The Conners premieres Tuesday, Oct, 16 on ABC.