The Conners have scared up a Halloween episode, and the only thing that’s missing is matriarch Roseanne. In the true fashion of the long-running ABC sitcom, Roseanne’s clan will go all out for Halloween on the first season of the ABC spinoff. But unlike the last Halloween episode that played out on Roseanne— 1996’s “Satan, Darling”— this time, Roseanne Conner isn’t around to celebrate her favorite holiday.
Still, the cash-strapped Conners keep up their tradition of overspending on the October holiday, complete with elaborate decorations and costumes, as can be seen in the photos released by the ABC below.
The synopsis for The Conners Halloween episode, “There Won’t Be Blood,” was also released by ABC.
“It’s Halloween, the favorite time of year for the Conners, but an email from the school banning certain costumes, including Mark’s, sets off an argument between Dan and Darlene. Jackie introduces someone new to the family at the Halloween party and insists that Dan vet him, only to immediately wish that she hadn’t.”
The “someone new” at the Halloween party is Jackie’s (Laurie Metcalf) date, played by Matthew Broderick. Broderick will play Peter, a potential love interest for Roseanne’s sister in a recurring role on the new sitcom, per Deadline.
TV Line previously reported that Steve Zahn would be introduced as a possible love interest for Jackie on the Halloween episode, but The Crossing star is not pictured in any of the new photos posted by ABC. It appears that Broderick has replaced Zahn in the role, but ABC has not confirmed if that is the case. It is possible Steve Zahn will appear in a later episode of The Conners.
The new photos from “There Won’t Be Blood” also feature the Conners neighbors, Samir and Fatima Al-Harazi (played by Alain Washnevsky and Anne Bedian), who were first introduced in the Roseanne episode “Go Cubs.”
While the Conner family is moving forward with their holiday traditions after the death of matriarch Roseanne (Barr’s character was killed off the series via an accidental opioid overdose), it may not be the same for longtime fans of the original series. Before her firing from ABC over a racist tweet, Barr had been looking forward to working on a Halloween episode on the previously greenlit 11th season of Roseanne.
The original Roseanne series aired Halloween episodes every year starting in 1989, eight episodes in all, with titles like “Boo!” and “Trick or Treat.” Barr told Yahoo TV the Halloween episodes, which featured the Conners’ annual battles of holiday one-upmanship, were among her favorites from the series, but that she initially had to fight for them in an era when Halloween episodes weren’t a thing.
“For a while, they refused to let us have a Halloween episode because they said the Bible Belt doesn’t like Halloween, that they think it’s satanic, so they didn’t want it on ABC,” Barr told Yahoo. “They were very kind of fundamentalist about it, but you know, that was the first dragon we slayed on the Roseanne show.”
The Conners episode “There Won’t be Blood” airs Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. on ABC.