Thirty years ago, with the sound of a soulful harmonica and an unforgettable cackle, Roseanne brought the blue-collar family into the limelight for the first time in television history. This show was the first time that the mother was in charge of the family. It was groundbreaking for its time, and laid the groundwork for shows such as The Middle and Mike & Molly to become hits.
After nine seasons of watching the Conner family deal with raising kids in the 90s, job loss, and living paycheck to paycheck all while entertaining America with their white trash antics, the show went off the air in what TV Guide called the “script flip heard round the world.” In the end, we were left knowing that the entire story was born out of the imagination of the show’s lead character Roseanne Conner and was actually based on the book of her life, stating that if she didn’t like something about her life, she changed it in her book. So many things were switched around that there’s no need to even go into them right now, other than to say it was heartbreaking for many fans of the show.
Details of the Roseanne revival have been somewhat tightly held onto until recently, as certain elements of the new season have been leaked to fans. What we know so far is that the last season of Roseanne will basically be ignored. That means no lottery win, David and Darlene will be together, and Dan will be alive. Those are the parts that matter most to fans according to the Facebook group Roseanne Obessed, which is definitely the place to go if you want to get ready for this revival of a television classic.
Other information that has been released recently about the Roseanne revival has fans extremely excited.
Here is what we know:
Fans were introduced to Harris Conner Healy, the daughter of David and Darlene Healy, and the granddaughter of Dan and Roseanne, in the final season of Roseanne. Although their daughter would actually be 21 years old at this point in time, the revival has Harris being a 16-year-old girl who has the same look and attitude of her mother Darlene (played by Sara Gilbert). As well, we will have the opportunity to meet David and Darlene’s son Mark who is named after David’s older brother Mark Healy, played by Glenn Quinn. Glenn passed away in 2002 from a heroin overdose and there is no talk of recasting his character, so it is assumed the son of David and Darlene will be named in honor of his uncle who is suspected to have died in Iraq. Although, this is based on a concept Roseanne Barr put out during an interview on The Talk a few years ago.
Rumors have circulated that the character of David Healy will likely be recast due to Johnny Galecki’s hectic shooting schedule at The Big Bang Theory. Fans will surely be heartbroken if Galecki does not return to reprise the role that made him into the actor he is today.
However, as with many reunions, reboots, and revivals it is not always possible to get the original actors to return. For example, in the made for television movie A Very Brady Christmas, Jennifer Runyon played Cindy Brady when Susan Olsen turned down the offer to return. Also, and more recently, we look to Fuller House on Netflix, which took us back into the lives of the Tanner family in San Francisco, yet with out the show’s youngest child Michelle due to the busy schedules of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Maybe Galecki will return and hopefully reprisal is just a problem for people named Olsen?
Luckily, this would not be Roseanne’s first dealing with recasting a main character. Fans would recall that Lecy Goranson, who played the eldest Conner child Becky, left in later seasons when her college schedule became too much for her to handle along with the grueling filming schedule of the show. Her character was recast and played by Sarah Chalke. So it is possible, while also causing an uproar on the internet, that Galecki’s role could be recast.
With both actresses who played the part of Becky returning for the revival of Roseanne, many people were left wondering what would Sarah Chalke do? Many people speculated that David and Darlene would get a divorce and Sarah might play Darlene’s new lesbian love interest. This is mainly due to the fact that Sara Gilbert came out of the closet in real life and announced her marriage to now wife Linda Perry, lead singer of 4NonBlondes. Others have speculated that Chalke would be playing the role of DJ Conner’s wife. The truth is, no one knows. Sarah Chalke has recently stated that she has been “sworn to secrecy” as to who character will be, but that she will have “close ties with the Conner family.” We likely will not know until the day she walks onscreen and fans see, for the first time, the real Becky and the other Becky on screen together.
Also, there will be many many new characters arriving in the Conner household because the youngest child Jerry Garcia Conner was only a baby when the show stopped filming. Fans will now get to see an adult Jerry and learn how he turned out. As well Roseanne’s sister Jackie Harris, who is played by Laurie Metcalf, had a son named Andy who was about four years old during the last season, his character is also being cast by an adult actor.
In the last episode of Roseanne, Becky and Mark were visiting baby Harris in her crib when Mark asked if Becky planned to tell the family that she was pregnant. There has been no word on whether or not this will be included in the revival or not. Although, it seems very likely that this would be a detail that would not be excluded by the re-imagining of the series.
Tom Werner and Bruce Helford are returning to executive produce the revival, spearheaded by Gilbert who also serves in the same capacity. They are joined by series newcomers Whitney Cummings and Jax Media’s Tony Hernandez. While Roseanne herself, as she did during the 220-episode-plus initial run, will continue to write on the series.
We do know that there will now be three generations of the Conner family, with parents, children, and grandchildren. This will be a new story for a new generation told with familiar faces from our childhood. Many fans are delighted by the news that the show will be returning. Numerous people have remarked that this is the perfect time for the show to come back being as this is about a blue-collar family who is now living in the Trump era.
As for the rest, fans will just have to wait until 2018 to see what the Conners are up to. Until then, here is my favorite clip in the entire series: