Sara GilbertLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 9:37PM EDT
The Conners killing off Roseanne Conner was the only logical choice, giving the show a premise and reason to exist beyond nostalgia
Source: The New York Times
"'Family moves on after a death' is a trusty sitcom premise (that’s the way they all became the Brady Bunch)," says James Poniewozik. "But to have the loss be someone the audience has known as long and as well as family is a challenge, and an opportunity." He adds of killing Roseanne Conner via an opioid overdose: "If anything, the decision was a compliment to the legacy of her creation, a show that at its best was about facing real problems — death, domestic abuse, unemployment — with tough love and acid humor. Besides, we already knew what really killed Roseanne Conner: Roseanne Barr’s racism. The meta-cause for the character’s absence couldn’t help but hang over the Conners premiere. And in a way, Roseanne’s ejection was a kind of refutation of the premise of the earlier Roseanne revival. The revival made the case, in part, that families could have deep, hurtful divisions over the election and the state of America but that, in the end, these were just politics. (This has also been a theme of the new, more conciliatory episodes of Last Man Standing on Fox.) That was nice to hear, but it wasn’t totally honest. It took the example of the real-life Barr to point out that the schisms in America right now aren’t just about politics, in the sense of marginal tax rates or health care policy. They’re also about decency and empathy and dehumanization."
- The Conners works without Roseanne Conner -- so did it need her in the first place?
- One could barely call The Conners a spinoff -- it's the exact same show as the last season of Roseanne, minus the one cast member
- Callous as it may sound, the sooner Roseanne is forgotten, the better the show might become
- What it's like to watch The Conners having never seen Roseanne
- Sara Gilbert on Roseanne Conner's death: "It's happened to people all over the world at some point in their journey. It redefines a family, and people have to take on different roles. That felt like the most authentic story we could tell and something people can relate to."
- Michael Fishman wouldn't rule out bringing Roseanne Conner back in a flashback scene: "Never say never"
Posted Tuesday 10/16/18 at 9:10PM EDT
How The Conners wrote off Roseanne Conner
The series premiere of the Roseanne spinoff wasted no time revealing the fate of Roseanne Barr's character. As Caroline Framke explains, the explanation of Roseanne Conner's death included a scene that was "an example of how The Conners can keep up the Roseanne revival’s commitment to being More Political without knocking the audience over the head with Fox News versus MSNBC talking points."
- Roseanne Barr responds to her character's fate: "I AIN’T DEAD, BITCHES!!!!"
- Why Roseanne Conner's fate is exceptionally problematic
- Twitter reacts to Roseanne's fate: "What a shame"
- Sara Gilbert on filming The Conners premiere: "What ended up happening is we wanted to make a really honest episode, and channel whatever we were feeling into the episode"
Posted Tuesday 10/16/18 at 7:23PM EDT
Roseanne Barr's departure frees The Conners from being a zero-sum game of politics
Without Barr, The Conners is "in some ways a more straightforward descendant of the original series than the revival was: It’s a show about the white working-class experience that has not been warped by Barr’s vile politics," says Willa Paskin. She adds: "Although some conservatives will view any Barr-less version of Roseanne as a victory for the other side, in the long run—if there is one for this show—her removal frees The Conners from being treated like a zero-sum game, with every storyline a point for one side or the other. But there’s a catch: Without her, the show does not and cannot have the potent and terrifying energy of its predecessor. The Conners is in demonstrably less racist hands than it was—and so is now unlikely to be the center of the news cycle. The most controversial thing about it is that it exists. The Conners tells a damning story about American society within the world of the show, but outside of it too; the series underwent a necessary, morally correct change—for which it will likely be rewarded with a fraction of its predecessor’s ratings. The Conners isn’t bad, but it’s hard to laugh at that."
- Roseanne Barr tells HBO's Vice News Tonight: ABC did “the worst thing they could have possibly done to me…to fire me from my own show"
- Inside the making of The Conners and why it doesn't need Roseanne-sized ratings: Modern Family, ABC's biggest comedy, has barely five million same-day viewers
- Why The Conners' pro-Trump conservative detractors might be wrong that it "will flop without its star"
- The Conners faced a magnitude of a challenge, and rises admirably to that challenge
- The Conners is everything the Roseanne revival should have been: Without Barr’s outsize presence, her fantastic supporting cast evolves into a versatile ensemble
- Showrunner Bruce Helford: "We avoided the divisiveness by just making sure the fans of the show would find all the elements of the show they love intact"
- Roseanne Barr reportedly won't be watching The Conners premiere
- Original Roseanne writers don't think killing off Roseanne Conner is a good idea
Posted Saturday 10/13/18 at 3:11AM EDT
The Conners does what the Roseanne revival did best, without the politics
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
ABC, which has been keeping a lid on the Roseanne spinoff in advance of Tuesday's premiere, screened two episodes for critics on Friday with the agreement that they "not discuss, imply or in any other way reveal what happens to the character of Roseanne Conner." According to Daniel Fienberg, "Roseanne's exit from the series is handled in a way that's far more dignified and honorable than Barr-the-producer's exit from the show." He adds: "What The Conners evolves into almost immediately is what it really was at its best last season and probably always was at its best: a blue-collar family sitcom that has become a blue-collar sitcom about an interestingly varied blue-collar family composed of several generations and a selection of exes and only-occasionally-present spouses all just trying to make the best of a messy situation in a midsize Illinois town. The idea that Roseanne was the only comedy on TV tackling blue-collar issues was already a ridiculous piece of myopia that ignored One Day at a Time, Shameless, Speechless, Superstore and several other great pieces of TV. This is but one blue-collar comedy on TV, and it's a decent one. The emphasis that Roseanne put on politics in several early episodes last season is basically gone, but everybody involved with the show last year tried to emphasize that Roseanne was not now, and never really was, a show about politics. It's absolutely still a show about ideology or world-view, but it's that without ever saying 'Trump' or 'Clinton' or 'Democrat' or 'Republican' once. The questions are about how you pay for medical bills or how you raise children or how you handle difference."
- The Conners is lackluster, mostly unfunny and rather draining to watch -- Roseanne Barr haunts the show like a laughing ghoul
- What The Conners lacks most of all is a bit of the crazy -- it's like Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen
- The Conners has a familiar look and pace, and it's better than might be expected after an emergency "star-ectomy"
- The Conners writers struck what felt like the perfect balance between darkness and light
- The Conners makes a solid case for itself, but there's no escaping Roseanne Conner or Roseanne Barr
- Without Barr, there is an ease and lightness to The Conners that harkens back to the original show's heyday
- John Goodman and his character Dan seem a little adrift in this new normal -- he has to adjust to no longer being Roseanne's backup
- The Conners is able to live up to the original series that was overshadowed by the Roseanne revival's Trump slant
- It's a low benchmark, but The Conners makes the case that it's the best new comedy -- if you can call it a "new comedy"
Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 12:45PM EDT
The Conners stars recall learning about Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, say filming without her is "awkward but not awkward"
People magazine conducted a joint interview with Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf to discuss Barr's racist tweet and filming The Conners without her. “It was awkward but not awkward,” says Metcalf. “It was right but not right, wrong but not wrong.” Goodman recalls first hearing about Barr's racist tweet “in my kitchen and maybe my daughter or my wife told me. It just didn’t seem true. Then it got true. I was consciously trying to accept it.” Metcalf says upon learning about the tweet, she was just trying “to reconcile myself to the show being gone,” adding: “And you know, coming off such a high, it was hard to wrap our heads around.” As for the spinoff, Metcalf says: "There was a lot of risk involved. But we all decided as a group to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back.” Goodman agrees: “There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story.”
Posted Tuesday 9/25/18 at 6:56PM EDT
Johnny Galecki to reprise his Roseanne role on The Conners, with Juliette Lewis playing his girlfriend
“HERE’S THE BIG NEWS!! Look what I’m doin!!” Lewis wrote on Instagram, captioning a photo of her, Galecki and Sara Gilbert on The Conners set.
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 8:51PM EDT
Without Julie Chen, The Talk spent an awkward and emotional 10 minutes discussing Les Moonves
Source: The Daily Beast
“We're about to talk about something that affects everybody's lives here at CBS,” said Sharon Osbourne, whose job was to lead the discussion on the CBS boss' ouster after announcing that Chen would be skipping today's Season 9 premiere. “I have never been nervous in my life, but I'm kind of very nervous right now,” Osbourne said, before letting clips of other news shows explain the new sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves. The result was a "deeply uncomfortable" 10 minutes that was both awkward and emotional, says Matt Wilstein. Osbourne, who staunchly defended Moonves in a Twitter statement that discredited his accusers when Ronan Farrow's New Yorker story was first published, deleted the tweet before today's show. "He's not been convicted of any crime, but obviously the man has a problem," Osbourne said today, adding that the new CBS CEO will likely make drastic changes. “We all know they sweep clean," Osbourne said. "Everybody here at CBS is nervous about their jobs. Yes, the ladies at this table will go on and we'll probably find another show if our show, please god, it's not taken off, we'll always find another job and nobody is, you know, in that position yet. It's just historically when somebody new comes in, things change.”
Posted Monday 6/25/18 at 6:54PM EDT
Sara Gilbert is "so excited" about Roseanne spinoff The Conners
“I’m so excited, thank you all so much. I really appreciate it,” Gilbert said on Monday's The Talk after co-host Sharon Osbourne congratulated her on the news.
Posted Friday 6/22/18 at 5:17PM EDT
Roseanne spinoff The Conners could be successful, but only if Roseanne Conner is killed off
ABC's The Conners announcement seemed to hint that Roseanne Barr's character would die, which should absolutely happen, says Kathryn VanArendonk. "If The Conners is going to be Roseanne without Roseanne but the character doesn’t die, the show will quickly tilt toward the same self-loathing, ironicized mess of the original Roseanne’s ninth season," says VanArendonk. "It wouldn’t be a show about a working-class family; it’d be a show about the strangeness of its own existence. Plus, anything less than Roseanne’s death leaves the door open for her return, which would be a remarkably craven gesture." VanArendonk offers several reasons why The Conners could work, including that Barr had been holding the show back because her acting ability in the revival paled in comparison to her co-stars. "In addition to the consequences of her cruel, racist, and harmfully conspiratorial Twitter feed, Barr also offered much less natural acting in the revival than she had in the original series," says VanArendonk. "While (John) Goodman, (Sara) Gilbert, (Laurie) Metcalf, and the rest of the cast hit their beats and made the show’s rhythm their own, Barr often seemed to be reading from cue cards. What once came off as a refreshingly, bracingly direct style on the original series did not translate well into the revival, where Barr seemed less concerned about being within the story and more obviously concerned about performing the story. I’m curious what The Conners could look like without that stilted performance element."
Posted Thursday 6/21/18 at 8:47PM EDT
ABC officially orders Roseanne spinoff The Conners -- without Roseanne Barr's participation
“Roseanne Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series,” ABC said in announcing its 10-episode straight-to-series order for The Conners spinoff, premiering this fall and starring Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman. Executive producer Tom Werner and showrunner Bruce Helford will also be back. ABC didn't announce how the spinoff would move forward without Roseanne Conner, but a description hinted that she might be killed off. “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before," ABC said in its announcement. "This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.” ABC's announcement included a statement from Barr herself: “I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne," Barr said. "I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved." ALSO: Roseanne Barr is expected to retain all rights to her Roseanne Conner character, including for future spinoffs/reboots beyond The Conners.
Posted Tuesday 6/05/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Report: ABC heard a Darlene-centered Roseanne spinoff pitch, but it wouldn't be ready by September
Sara Gilbert and fellow producers Tom Werner and Bruce Helford met on Monday with ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey to discuss a potential spinoff focusing on Darlene Conner, according to Variety. While prospects are looking good, ABC still has yet to resolve several issues, including how the network could proceed without Roseanne Barr benefitting financially. There is also the question of when it would launch. The earliest, according to Variety, is November. "Working in the spinoff’s favor," says Variety, "is the belief that curiosity would drive large audiences to the show’s premiere in much the same way that the Roseanne debut benefited from questions over whether and how Barr’s support for President Donald Trump would manifest itself onscreen."
Posted Monday 6/04/18 at 2:49PM EDT
Sara Gilbert addresses Roseanne's cancelation on The Talk, says she stands by ABC's decision
Gilbert made a tearful return to The Talk today, six days after ABC abruptly canceled the Roseanne revival she spearheaded. “I would like to say this has been a very difficult week," she said. "A lot of people have been hurt by this. I will say I’m proud of the show we made. The show has always been about diversity, love and inclusion, and it’s sad to see it end in this way. I’m sad for the people who lost their jobs in the process. However, I do stand behind the decision that ABC made.” Gilbert didn't address rumors of a possible Darlene-centered spinoff. According to Deadline, Roseanne producers are scheduled to meet today with Disney-ABC executives to pitch a revamped Roseanne without its star. ALSO: Tom Arnold says Roseanne Barr is "obviously" a racist.
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Report: ABC to hear Roseanne spinoff ideas, but it doesn't want Roseanne Barr to benefit financially
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter says there have been no formal discussions to revive Roseanne without Rosanne Barr, but a meeting between producers and ABC is scheduled for next week. As The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg reports, ABC is "open to potential spinoff ideas with a catch: they have to be without Roseanne Barr and the actress and former head writer of the sitcom would not be able to financially benefit from any new incarnation of the series." Producers are up for any idea, including the Darlene-centered spinoff that TMZ reported earlier Friday. Still, Goldberg adds, "continuing Roseanne without Barr attached in any form may prove challenging. The series was created by Matt Williams and is based upon a character created by Barr. That could make an offshoot a thorny debate as it's unclear if just the character of Roseanne Conner falls under Barr's oversight."
- "There was always a feeling that something was going to happen," a Roseanne show source tells People magazine. "There was always a heightened awareness with her and we were always on edge about her going off track...But you just hold your breath until it does. Did we think she would say something like that? No. But then it all fell apart.”
- Since Roseanne Barr has ownership/backend, she could mount a legal challenge over a Roseanne spinoff
- Why did Roseanne stay off Twitter throughout Friday?
- Why would Roseanne's Trump-supporting fans tune in for a spinoff revolving around liberal Darlene?
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 6:42PM EDT
Report: ABC mulling a spinoff of Roseanne spinoff revolving around Sara Gilbert's Darlene Conner
"The powers that be at ABC are exploring the possibility of re-branding the show and focusing on the character Darlene instead of Roseanne," according to TMZ, in a report confirmed by TV Line. "We're told Sara's been calling cast members to gauge their interest in the event ABC gives the reboot the green light. We're told John Goodman is 'very interested," says TMZ. Many Roseanne reviews said that the revival really revolved around Darlene, and not Roseanne Conner. Darlene was even considered by some to be the best reason to watch Roseanne. ALSO: Joe Rogan defends Roseanne on his podcast.
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 9:13PM EDT
Roseanne Barr says "I begged" ABC not to cancel Roseanne: "Let me apologize"
Source: Page Six
Roseanne continued tweeting throughout Thursday in response to Tuesday's cancelation, offering forgiveness to co-stars Michael Fishman and Sara Gilbert for denouncing her tweet. She also recounted the Tuesday cancelation conversation she had with ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood, with whom she appeared on stage two weeks earlier at ABC's upfronts. "I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends," Roseanne tweeted. "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 begged4 ppls jobs." In another tweet 25 minutes later, Roseanne added: "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" ALSO: Roseanne wants the phone numbers of Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Wolf so she can call them to apologize.