Roseanne dies of opioid overdose as ‘The Conners’ take over

Angelo Anderson
October 17, 2018

Two senior-level ABC executives recently said in an interview that they regret firing Roseanne Barr after she made controversial comments in a tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett.

The opioid theme at the center of "The Conners" could hardly be more topical.

(L-R, Back Row) Executive producers Whitney Cummings and Tom Werner, actors Ames McNamera, Emma Kenney, Jayden Rey, executive producer Bruce Helford, (l-r, front row) actor Michael Fishman, executive producer/actress Sara Gilbert, actress Laurie Metcalf, executive producer/actress Roseanne Barr, actors John Goodman, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke of the television show "Roseanne" speak onstage during the ABC Television/Disney portion of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena in Pasadena, California on January 8, 2018.

Fans had long speculated that the Roseanne character would die in such a way, largely in part to an episode of the revival series in which the character comes to the realization that she's been abusing painkillers while recovering from an operation. Yes, The Conners killed off Roseanne, and yes, she died from an overdose on pain medication, just as Roseanne Barr herself said last month.

"I miss Rosie real bad", says Goodman, who worked with Roseanne Barr for a nine-year run starting in 1988 and last year's top-rated revival before she was sacked after a racist tweet last spring.

"This was a choice the network did not have to make", they continued.

"What's different now is we are missing our matriarch in the show, so our roles are redefined as they would be in a family". "And that we don't forget our past or where we've been, but there are really new and exciting stories coming forward".

Roseanne, an iconic hit during its first incarnation, became TV's top-rated show (averaging 20 million viewers) and a cultural phenomenon when ABC revived it last March.

"I think it was important that we all be respectful of Roseanne Conner and Roseanne Barr", executive producer Tom Werner said. He said the network would not be producing's the show's second season.

Goodman says he was "stunned" but not angered by the cancellation.

After the episode aired, Roseanne Barr tweeted, "I AIN'T DEAD, BITCHES!"

Barr called out ABC for its unwillingness to forgive her. The episode ends with Dan going to sleep alone in his and Roseanne's bed, tenderly making a place for her even though she's gone. We all help each other...

"We did impossible numbers past year, so I don't want to think about that, but if they give us a chance and keep tuning in, who knows?" Instead of offering an authentic look at blue-collar America and the currently divided culture, it is now just another sanitized half-hour comedy series that seems to be doing its best to imitate blue-collar life without any real firsthand knowledge.

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