The Conners will have a lot more time to adjust to life without their matriarch, Roseanne. The ABC spinoff, which was renewed for a second season nearly two months ago, will return next season with the largest episode order yet since the Conner family returned to TV early last year.
According to Deadline, talks with the cast are still underway, but ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said The Conners “will end up with around a full season” for its sophomore year. The entertainment site reports that ABC is planning at least a 19-episode second season, which is contingent on series star Laurie Metcalf’s schedule.
The original Roseanne series aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997 and averaged 24 episodes per season. When Roseanne returned to the network 20 years later for a limited series with original star Roseanne Barr, the revival only aired nine episodes. The first season of The Conners spinoff — which was created after Barr was fired from her show after posting a racist tweet — had 11 episodes, so the projected new order is nearly double what viewers got last season as the Conner family navigated their life after their matriarch’s sudden death. (A death that was, sadly, spawned by Barr’s firing.)
ABC renewed The Conners in March and new deals were quickly secured with core cast members John Goodman (Dan Conner), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie Harris), Sara Gilbert (Darlene Conner), and Lecy Goranson (Becky Conner-Healy). Main stars Goodman, Gilbert, and Metcalf secured salary increases of $375,000 an episode, up from $250K for Season 1, while Goranson will reportedly now earn $165K an episode, per TV Line. A deal was not announced for Roseanne alum Michael Fishman (DJ Conner), but the actor is expected to appear in at least some of the new episodes.
The higher episode count is good news for fans for The Conners as it offers the potential for more big-name guest stars. The series ended its 11-episode first season with multiple cliffhangers, including one involving Darlene’s love life as she was left in a triangle with two suitors: new boyfriend/boss Ben (played by Jay R. Ferguson) and her ex-husband David (Johnny Galecki). In addition, Lecy Goranson’s Becky character was left unexpectedly pregnant with her first child and was unsure about raising the baby as a single mother.
The Conners ended its first season as ABC’s top-rated comedy and its No. 3-rated program overall after The Bachelor and Grey’s Anatomy. Way back in January, before anything was official, series star Laurie Metcalf told Entertainment Tonight that the show would be back.
“I believe it’s going to happen,” Metcalf said of a second Conners season. “I think we’ll do between 10 and 13 [episodes], something like that.”
Looks like she was right about everything except that supersized episode count.
The Conners will air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. this fall on ABC.