Two weeks after it got the axe, it’s looking more and more like “Roseanne” will continue in some form – most likely a ‘Darlene’ spin-off featuring all cast members but Roseanne Barr.
According to Deadline, Tom Werner, Sara Gilbert and showrunner Bruce Helford pitched ABC an idea last Monday for a new show and it’s apparently looking good for a greenlight.
“I hear the meeting went well, with the idea of continuing the show without Barr while keeping the writers and crew employed getting thumbs up by the network. Since then, the matter has been mostly in the hands of the lawyers”, says the trade. “Because of the circumstances under which ABC canceled the Roseanne revival — over a racist tweet by Barr — the network’s executives had made it clear that they would only proceed with a spinoff series if she has absolutely no involvement — creative, financial or any other. While Barr has a creative credit and ownership on the original series, the question is whether it would carry over to any spinoffs. If she was creator or co-creator of the mothership series, that is pretty unavoidable, but her specific credit could make it possible.
The opening credits for the revival (which mirror those for the original series, read: Roseanne is created by Matt Williams, based on a character created by Roseanne Barr (images on left). If Williams is considered the sole creator of the series, with Barr only credited for originating the character that became Roseanne Conner, if a follow-up series does not feature Roseanne Conner, one could make an argument that Barr is not entitled to profits.”
The complex situation explains why it’s taking so long for the network to make a decision. In an optimistic sign, ABC have not announced a replacement for “Roseanne” on their fall schedule, suggesting they too are hoping the spin-off can come together.