The ConnersLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 10/19/18 at 6:10PM EDT
Matthew Broderick boards three shows: The Conners, Better Things and Daybreak
The two-time Tony winner, coming off of playing Captain "Sully" Sullenberger on a Jimmy Kimmel Live! musical, has landed on three different shows, including his first regular TV series starring role. He'll romance Aunt Jackie on The Conners, in a recurring role that starts with the Halloween episode. He'll play a counselor on Season 3 of Pamela Adlon's Better Things. And he'll star on Daybreak, Netflix's upcoming high school apocalypse dramedy. The Ferries Bueller's Day Off star is returning to high school, playing the cheerful, upbeat principal in his first TV series regular role. According to Deadline, Broderick's "Principal Burr knows the name of every kid in school and their favorite character to play in Overwatch. In a hashtag-filled world of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter and #timesup, Burr is genuinely trying to be part of the solution: a good guy, an advocate and ally for all. But let’s face it, kids can be monsters."
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 Wednesday 10/17/18 at 10:21AM EDT
The Conners premiere ratings up 4% from Roseanne's season finale, but down 35% from last season's massive premiere
Early numbers show The Connners giving ABC "some breathing room," according to Deadline's Dominic Patten, who adds: "Down 35% from the Roseanne opener, the start of The Conners was just 4% better than the mothership series finale in metered market numbers. In fact, even with a massive marketing push, The Conners wasn’t even the highest rated show of Tuesday night. Though The Conners was ahead of This Is Us by 22% in the early numbers, it was CBS’ NCIS that topped the night with a 8.1/13 in metered market results with the fourth episode of its 16th season." UPDATE: The Conners premiered to 10.5 million viewers, on par with Roseanne season finale's 10.6 million.
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 10:21AM EDT
Roseanne Barr slams The Conners for her character's "unnecessary grim and morbid" opioid overdose
Source: The Daily Beast
While Barr tweeted “I AIN’T DEAD BITCHES" following The Conners premiere last night, she and her spiritual teacher Rabbi Shmuley Boteach released a longer statement in response to the episode. “While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character," said the statement. "That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show." The statement went on to slam ABC’s cancellation of Roseanne, calling it a result of “fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive," adding that Roseanne Conner's opioid death was “a choice the network did not have to make."
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 10:21AM EDT
The Conners boss wanted Roseanne Conner to have a respectful and relevant sendoff that would inspire discussion
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Showrunner Bruce Helford explains Roseanne Barr's character's death in a Hollywood Reporter guest column: "There was a lot of chatter in the ether about how we should explain Roseanne's absence: Should she have a sudden heart attack, a mental breakdown or go off into the sunset on a boat with her son Jerry Garcia?" he wrote. "But back in the writers room, we firmly decided against anything cowardly or far-fetched, anything that would make the fierce matriarch of the Conners seem pathetic or debased. After much discussion by all parties, it was decided that we would have to make her departure clearly permanent. But her death would have to be reverent to the woman who was so beloved by her family. And the result would have to leave no shadow over Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, DJ and all of Lanford. It was a crucial story point so that the other characters could truly move on boldly with their lives, evolve and grow." Helford added that "I wanted a respectful sendoff for her, too: one that was relevant and could inspire discussion for the greater good about the American working class, whose authentic problems are often ignored by broadcast television. If you watched the first episode, I hope you'll agree we did that." ALSO: The Conners cast members say Roseanne Barr's "spirit (is) still very much with us."
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 Monday 10/15/18 at 4:02PM EDT
Roseanne's Muslim neighbors will return for The Conners
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Alain Washnevsky and Anne Bedian will reprise their roles as Samir and Fatima Al-Harazi on the ABC spinoff series, starting with the third episode of the season.
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 10/10/18 at 10:46PM EDT
The Conners executive producer: "We’re not doing any more of the Trump stuff"
Executive producer Bruce Rasmussen wouldn't reveal how Roseanne Conner's character will be written out of the series. "We wanted to honor that character. People can have their opinions after that," he says. As for how political The Conners will be compared to the Roseanne revival, Rasmussen adds: "We are living in a time where people are very anxious and can’t afford to go to the doctor and all that other stuff. So we’re writing in the same way we wrote last year about the economic things. If some of those feel political, they’re political, but we’re not doing any more of the Trump stuff. It’s more about working-class people and how they live their lives. If that comes off as political in spots then that’s how people will perceive it."
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 12:15PM EDT
John Goodman says Roseanne Barr "gave up a lot" to make The Conners possible
"She gave up a lot for us to be able to do this show, and I can’t thank her enough,” Goodman said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Goodman added that he "crashed for a couple of weeks" after Barr was fired from Roseanne. "I mean, she is missed, definitely, but after that many years it’s like a family," he said. "And last year was so miraculous and so unreal that when it went away, it was almost like a dream. I thought, ‘Ok, I’ll be a big boy and handle this.’ And I just crashed for a couple weeks.”
Posted Thursday 10/04/18 at 5:24PM EDT
The Conners enlists Justin Long and Steve Zahn as love interests
Long will romance Sara Gilbert's Darlene in a recurring role this season. Zahn will guest on the Oct. 30 episode as a new love interest for Jackie.
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 10/02/18 at 7:13PM EDT
The Conners previews life without Roseanne
Source: E! Online
A new promo offers a preview of "what's next for the Conners."
Posted Wednesday 9/26/18 at 2:44PM EDT
Tom Arnold says "oh my god" after learning Roseanne Conner's fate on live TV
"Wait, I hadn’t heard. Is that true? Oh my god!” Arnold said on Watch What Happens Live when asked about Roseanne Barr's supposed spoiler on how The Conners plan to kill off her character.