The Conners are set to return without their mighty matriarch, and it’s possible that her untimely demise will have an even greater impact on one of her family members than viewers originally thought.
While ABC has kept mum about how Roseanne Barr’s character will be written out of ABC’s Roseanne spinoff, the fired actress seemingly spoiled the family matriarch’s fate, telling Brandon Straka’s Walk Away podcast that her character was killed by an opioid overdose for The Conners. But even if Barr’s intel isn’t correct, fans know her character did battle a prescription drug problem during the 10th and final season of Roseanne. Now, it sounds like Rosie’s past problems will cause one of her grieving family members to take a harder look at their own.
TV Line posted a list of minor spoilers about The Conners premiere, revealing that the spinoff picks up roughly three months after the events of last spring’s revival. In the finale episode “Knee Deep,” fans last saw the Conners dealing with a catastrophic basement flood, Roseanne’s much-needed knee surgery, and the prescription meds she was sneaking behind her husband’s back.
TV Line reports that the opening scene of The Conners features the entire family, including Grandma Bev (Estelle Parsons), gathered in the kitchen. In addition, the site reveals that after dealing with Roseanne’s pill addiction last season “another member of the family begins to seriously address his/her substance abuse issues.”
It’s not hard to figure out who that person might be. While the entire Conner clan will undoubtedly be mourning the passing of Roseanne—no matter how she died—eldest daughter Becky (Lecy Goranson) has been grieving the death of her husband Mark for an extended period of time.
In the final season of Roseanne, it was revealed that Becky still hadn’t come to terms with Mark’s death years later. There were also multiple references to Becky’s heavy drinking, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her alcoholism addressed in The Conners.
Indeed, Deadline reported that The Conners opener, titled “Keep On Truckin,'” deals with “grieving sisters, new love, alcoholism” and more.
Longtime Roseanne fans know that Becky Conner first experimented with alcohol during the show’s original run in the 1990 episode, “One For the Road.” When she was a teenager, Becky snuck alcohol out of her parents’ liquor cabinet and made “tornadoes,” a combination of several liquors she mixed together. Nearly three decades later, a widowed Becky is working as a server at a chain Mexican Restaurant and seems to have little direction in life, and a definite problem with alcohol.
The Conners premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 on ABC.