While ABC has tried to keep a tight lid on their upcoming Roseanne spin-off The Conners, audiences knew there was always one character who wouldn’t be returning: Roseanne Conner, the TV avatar of Roseanne Barr, whose racist tweet swiftly ended her classic ‘90s sitcom’s brief revival earlier this year. So, while hypothetically Roseanne Conner could have been climbing Mount Everest or living it up as a divorcée in Hawaii, a new Sunday Times interview with co-star John Goodman confirms your suspicions: In the universe of The Conners, the family’s matriarch is dead.
When discussing how his character Dan would differ in the new show, John Goodman mused, “It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.” When it comes to Barr’s removal from the Roseanne reboot, however, Goodman dismisses the claim that his co-star is racist, despite her describing African-American Obama staffer Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes had a baby” in a since-deleted tweet. “I was surprised. I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that’s probably all I should say about it,” he said of her removal. “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist.”