Everything You Need to Know About the Rise and Fall of the 'Roseanne' Reboot

One nasty tweet led to the downfall of America's most-watched sitcom.

ABC's 'Roseanne'
Getty ImagesRobert Trachtenberg
  • ABC announced the revival of Roseanne in May 2017.
  • The new season debuted in March 2018 with 27.3 million viewers.
  • To fans' delight, the show was renewed for an eleventh season.
  • The show was canceled on May 29, 2018 after Roseanne Barr tweeted an insensitive remark about Valerie Jarrett, the former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.
  • ABC just announced the show will revived without Barr this fall as The Conners.
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    All things must come to an end — and in the case of the Roseanne reboot, that end came just two months after a record-setting debut. The popular sitcom, which originally aired from 1988-1997, chronicled the lives of the working-class Conner family. Earlier this year, the much-loved show returned to television after a 20 year hiatus. However, on May 29, the show was cancelled due to a racist remark made by Roseanne Barr. But on June 21, ABC announced it will be reviving the show once again, as a spinoff called The Conners.

    Here is everything that contributed to the rise and fall — and rise again — of the beloved show.

    April 2017

    Reports swirl that a Roseanne reboot is in the works.

    In April 2018, reported that the Roseanne cast is negotiating a deal for a show revival. Multiple networks, notably ABC and Netflix, were interested in securing the show. It was later revealed that Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene, was the brains behind the rebirth of the popular sitcom. "I thought about it and I was just lucky that everyone wanted to do it," Gilbert told . She served as an executive producer along with Barr, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings, and Tony Hernandez.

    May 2017

    ABC confirms that Roseanne is coming back in 2018 with the original cast.

    It's official! ABC announces that Roseanne will be back with the original cast (including both Beckys) for eight original episodes in early 2018.

    A post shared by (@roseanneonabc) on

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    October 2017

    Filming begins.

    Finally, we catch a glimpse of the cast in action. They all look thrilled in their first table read — and loyal viewers start to question how the show will work around Dan's death at the end of season 9.

    Once filming wraps, ABC releases the first promo for the revival — and it features the plaid couch and afghan. We're hooooooome!

    A post shared by (@roseanneonabc) on

    March 2018

    The Roseanne trailer airs during the Oscars — and people LOVE it.

    It kind of feels like a hug from an old friend, doesn't it? The Oscars, which aired on Roseanne's home network, treated viewers to their first look at the refreshed Roseanne during the March broadcast. And yes, it tackles Dan's questionable death.

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    Barr goes after Parkland student David Hogg on Twitter.

    Just before the show returns to primetime, about the Parkland shooting on February 14. In response to an *altered* photo of Parkland student David Hodge, Roseanne says "NAZI SALUTE." She quickly deletes her tweet per ABC's request — but evidently, thousands of people saw it anyways.

    ICYMI Roseanne replied to a David Hogg conspiracy theorist who tagged the actual boy, but then ABC made her delete it. Don't worry, here's a screenshot:

    — Adam Sass, Exclusively at Shreck's Dept. Store (@TheAdamSass)

    #BoycottRoseanne starts trending.

    Thousands (if not millions) of people start using the #BoycottRoseanne hashtag on social media, claiming they would not watch the show or support Barr, who has been caught up in controversy for her political opinions in the past as well, including being part of the Birther movement against President Obama.

    Roseanne premieres on March 27, 2018 with BIG numbers.

    To no one's surprise, Roseanne returned with record numbers. The show's one-hour premiere episode,"Twenty Years to Life," beat out the competition with 27.3 million viewers. Everyone applauded the show for tackling controversial subjects including race, gender fluidity, and politics. "It's all how it affects the family — that's us— and how we deal with it. We've always dealt with it with humor," John Goodman told .

    A post shared by (@roseanneonabc) on

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    But politics took center stage. "The show isn't as political as they say. Rather, it's how politics divide a family, which is something the entire country is dealing with," Gilbert said.

    President Trump chimes in on the show's success.

    In an interview, Barr revealed that the president called her to congratulate her. "He's just happy for me," Barr told . "I've known him for many years, and he's done a lot of nice things for me over the years, and it was just a friendly conversation about working and television and ratings."

    After one episode, ABC renews the show for an eleventh season.

    A post shared by (@roseanneonabc) on

    No time wasted: On March 30, ABC announces that Roseanne is coming back for another season.

    April 2018

    Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki makes a memorable return.

    David made a comeback that left viewers pretty disappointed. In earlier episodes, it was revealed that he had left his family. In the episode, we come to find out David went on a trip to South America to build houses after his brother had died, and he couldn't cope with his new responsibilities (a.k.a. Darlene).


    — Roseanne on ABC (@RoseanneOnABC)
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    Yep, David left Darlene. Cue the heartache. Some viewers, however, remained hopeful that the couple would get back together in the next season.

    May 2018

    John Goodman breaks our hearts in the season finale.

    Dan's big speech during the season finale was undoubtedly the most emotional moment of Roseanne thus far. Once again, fans were reminded just how great of an actor Goodman is. Watch it for yourself:

    In the episode, titled “Knee Deep,” the Conner's basement is flooded due to a severe storm, and the family doesn’t have flood insurance. This raw moment between Dan and Wade, his friend and business partner, broke America's hearts.

    Barr tweets a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett on the night of May 29.

    Barr went on a now-deleted racist rant against Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, writing "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj." The actress blamed Ambien for her "insensitive jokes," and announced that she was leaving Twitter (which didn't last long).

    Jarrett eventually responded to Barr's tweet telling , "First of all, I think we need to turn it into a teaching moment. I'm fine. I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers who don't come to their defense."

    Producer Wanda Sykes says she's leaving the show.

    I will not be returning to .

    — Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes)

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    Sykes is the first to comment saying she will not return to the show after Barr's remark. Gilbert and Fishman quickly follow.

    This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.

    — sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert)

    — Michael Fishman (@ReelMFishman)

    ABC cancels Roseanne on May 29, 2018. Other networks, including Viacom, start pulling reruns.

    Hollywood A-listers, including Viola Davis and Shonda Rhimes, responded to Barr's abhorrent statements. Soon after, Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, issued a statement, revealing that the network had given the show the boot.

    NEW: ABC cancels "Roseanne" reboot after Roseanne Barr writes racist tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett; "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values," the network says

    — CBS News (@CBSNews)
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    President Trump gives his two cents about ABC's decision.

    The President responded to the Roseanne controversy by calling out Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company.

    Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

    He continued his Twitter spree the following day.

    Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

    Barr fired back at her castmates.

    The actress questioned why her cast didn't support her during a difficult moment.

    She responded to Gilbert's tweets:

    Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.

    — sara gilbert (@THEsaragilbert)

    Soon after, she told another Twitter user that she understood Gilbert's position but was still hurt by the betrayal.

    no, I understand her position and why she said what she said. i forgive her. It just shocked me a bit, but I indeed fucked up.

    — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne)
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    She also lashed out at Fishman claiming he "threw me under the bus":

    i created the platform for that inclusivity and you know . You throw me under the bus. nice!

    — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne)

    Barr apologizes to Jarrett.

    On Twitter, obviously.

    I want to apologize to you. I am very sorry to have hurt you. I hope you can accept this sincere apology!

    — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne)

    i don't know if u saw it, but I wanted2 apologize to u 4 hurting and upsetting u with an insensitive & tasteless tweet. I am truly sorry-my whole life has been about fighting racism. I made a terrible mistake wh caused hundreds of ppl 2 lose their jobs. so sorry!

    — Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne)

    Then Ambien issued a statement.

    Ambien's maker Sanofi responded to Barr's claim that the drug prompted her to tweet about Jarrett.

    People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.

    — Sanofi US (@SanofiUS)
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    John Goodman responds.

    While out and about in Hollywood, Goodman says "everything is fine." He claims that he's not online so he's unaware of a lot of the controversy (really, John?). When asked if he's upset that he's no longer in the running to get an Emmy, he says "Oh, I wasn't going to get an Emmy anyway."

    In a series of tweets, Barr apologized to Goodman and actress Laurie Metcalf for the cancellation. "I just wish ABC had not thrown two of the greatest actors in the world out with me — Laurie and John,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “I’m so sick over this — they will never have better character actors on their network.”

    Barr's ex-husband Tom Arnold claims Barr wanted the show to be canceled all along.

    In an interview with , Barr's former husband of four years, mentioned that the actress wanted the show to get cancelled. Wait, what?!

    “[The cancellation] had to happen. And I am going to tell you the truth, she wanted it to happen, if you saw how her tweets escalated this weekend,” Arnold said. “If it hadn't happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was [being] taken advantage [of], just like when I left the show."

    "I could see it coming." Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr's ex-husband and former writer on the sitcom "Roseanne," says he was not surprised by the actress' racist tweets that led to the cancellation of the ABC show.

    — CNN (@CNN)

    But he's onto something: Arnold says the whole thing could have been avoided if she just stopped tweeting.

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    Barr claims she begged ABC to forgive her.

    "I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends," the comedian said in a . "I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked 4 help in making things right. I'd worked doing publicity4 them 4free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged 4 ppls jobs."

    She also detailed Sherwood's response: "He said: what were you thinking when you did this? I said: I thought she was white, she looks like my family! He scoffed & said: "what u have done is egregious, and unforgivable.' I begged 4 my crews jobs. Will I ever recover from this pain? omg."

    But she's still tweeting.

    Barr is still on Twitter, despite her initial announcement that she'd be leaving the social media site.

    But Roseanne is not over for good.

    In the wake of the cancellation, a number of fans asked ABC to continue airing the show ... minus Barr. Shortly after, that the network is considering re-branding the show and focusing on Gilbert's character, Darlene, instead. On June 21, ABC officially announced a spinoff of Roseanne, called The Conners. Gilbert, Goodman, and the rest of the cast and crew — minus Barr — are in. The new version of the show will premiere this fall.

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