On Tuesday, ABC abruptly canceled its reboot of the show Roseanne after its star and creator, Roseanne Barr, wrote a racist tweet about a former Obama aide.
But now, according to CNN, some ABC executives are mulling over the possibility of keeping Roseanne on the air — without Roseanne herself.
The two sources who spoke with CNN said that ABC is in preliminary talks with Roseanne production company Carsey-Warner to get some version of the show on air in the future, which would help preserve the 200-odd jobs that were lost upon Roseanne’s cancellation. According to TMZ, the focus of the show would switch from Roseanne to the character Darlene (Sara Gilbert).
Although some obvious difficulties spring to mind when considering the possibility of giving Roseanne a new life without its titular star — Barr’s role was based on a character she created in her standup routine and the show, as a result, revolves around her — many fans of the seem to think that the show could continue by centering on Darlene or Dan (John Goodman).
According to Variety, Barr has a “significant financial stake” in the show, which seems to indicate that she would have to continue to receive payment of some kind — even in the form of a buyout — if the show continued without her, which would weaken the statement ABC made when they fired her.
All the same, stranger things have certainly happened in Hollywood. And there is proof that a show can be successful after a public departure from a star — the series Two and a Half Men famously fired Charlie Sheen in 2011 after he had a meltdown in an interview with ABC and, after replacing him with Ashton Kutcher, went on to have several more successful seasons.
So, stay tuned to see what ABC does next.