ABC is reportedly scheduled to hear from producers of “Roseanne” this week to discuss possible ways in which the hit series could continue without series star Roseanne Barr.
In a follow-up to our earlier report, the network is said to be open to any potential ideas of a spinoff as long as the show doesn’t include Barr as a cast member, nor can the actress reap any financial gain from a second reboot of the series, even if the show was to retain her name in the title.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Carsey-Werner television produced revival of the classic sitcom could continue without Barr, but the question of ownership is key.
“Roseanne” was created by Matt Williams, and Carsey-Werner retains production and ownership rights, but the show is based upon a character Barr created. However, there’s debate as to whether she, in fact, owns the rights to the character Roseanne Conner.
If Barr does have rights, that would put a damper on plans to continue the show with its original title. Either way, ABC is said to be on the hook for an 11th season of the series even if plans to move forward without Barr were to fall through. Reportedly, stars Sara Gilbert (“The Talk”), Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman expect to be paid the $300,000 they were guaranteed for the 10 episodes in which their options were exercised — the network had ordered 13 episodes for the 11th season which meant the actors wouldn’t have to appear in all 13. Compensation for the producers and writing staff, among others, wasn’t as clear according to THR.
“Nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they’re going to get,” said writer and executive producer Dave Caplan in an interview with the publication in the hours after the cancellation. “Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it’s going to turn out.”
According to TMZ, one idea put forward would have the show center on Darlene (Gilbert) with the rest of the Conner family around as supporting characters. Gilbert, who was behind the discussion of a first reboot, has been reportedly reaching out to members of the cast in order to “gauge their interest in the event ABC gives the reboot the green light.” The publication noted that Goodman (who plays Dan Conner) is “very interested.”
In announcing the show’s cancellation last week, Channing Dungey, President, ABC Entertainment, said Barr’s racially charged comments on Twitter were “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” Dungey is the first African American and the first African American woman to hold the seat as president of a broadcast network. Her decision and comments were upheld by Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, who said, “There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”
Ben Sherwood, Disney/ABC Television Group president, noted in an internal memo to staff that the decision “came down to doing what’s right.”
The “Roseanne” reboot also starred Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey.