If it’s broken, you need to fix it. And the creators of the Roseanne reboot knew that they needed to do something to keep its loyal reviews, even if that means ousting its namesake character. And now, we’re getting our first glimpse of The Conners, which features the Conner family sans Roseanne Barr.
Vulture has the scoop on the new ABC spinoff, which premieres on October 16. The Conners will be keeping us up with the Connor clan, who will likely dealing with the in-universe loss of Roseanne’s character. Her absence is explained by a simple empty couch — that iconic couch that Roseanne and co-star John Goodman shared many scenes together. In the teaser trailer, the colorful knit blanket is in its proper place, the Conner house looks undisturbed, but the loss of Roseanne looms like a ghost. Luckily, ABC addresses that head on, simply by asking us, “What’s next?” We don’t know yet, but we do know that it won’t include Roseanne.
As Vulture also notes, Roseanne will be killed off of the show, Goodman confirmed, which will now no longer bear her name. “It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead,” he said, which gives us some idea about the new premise. The Conner family has dealt with tragedies, financial problems, winning the lottery (and not winning the lottery because it was all just a dream!), and, ironically, Goodman’s character was also killed off and brought back at one point. That loss captures Roseanne’s human situations that we can all relate to. It’s that relatability that has made the show so enduring, and why its recent reboot skyrocketed in popularity. The Conners will likely continue to tell the stories of working-class America, with the humor we’ve come to love.