Report: ABC may continue "Roseanne" with show focused on ... Sara Gilbert?

C’mon. This is like dumping the Fonz from “Happy Days” and rebooting it to focus on Potsie.

Darlene is the fourth-most compelling character on the show, tops. I like the idea of keeping “Roseanne” going but only if it’s fundamentally a show about Dan and Jackie moving on from Roseanne’s death. If they go the Darlene route, they’re going to get one season out of it. Although maybe that’s the point: All they’re doing here, perhaps, is giving the cast, crew, and writers the second year of employment they were counting on before Roseanne ripped it out from under them. They’ll do 10 episodes of semi-respectable ratings and then pack it in.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ … the powers that be at ABC are exploring the possibility of re-branding the show and focusing on the character Darlene instead of Roseanne.

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.”…

What’s more … ABC is desperately trying to salvage the jobs of those who were affected by its swift decision to cancel the show earlier this week … especially for the writers and crew.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Gilbert were the motive force in trying to keep the show going. Supposedly she was also a prime mover in getting the cast interested in the “Roseanne” reboot to begin with, drawing inspiration from a sketch she and John Goodman did for “The Talk.” Coincidentally or not, she was also the most outspoken cast member in slamming Roseanne for her Valerie Jarrett tweet:

Just one sticky little problem with turning “Roseanne” into “Darlene.” Because Barr created the show, it’s unclear if ABC can operate without her. “Barr has a significant financial interest in the series, and there is concern that a new iteration that would benefit her financially would be a non-starter for everyone involved,” according to Variety. They’d have to buy her out, but how likely would she be to sell her interest knowing that the whole point is to freeze her out of her creation? She’d make ABC pay through the nose even if she’s willing. Are they going to throw down that kind of cash for a show focused on … Darlene?

If they go with the Darlene-centric plan, they should bring in Scott Baio and do 10 episodes of “Darlene Loves Chachi.” Or instead of making Roseanne’s disappearance morbid, make a huge joke of it. Go gonzo! Introduce a sassy puppet that sounds suspiciously like Barr. Do a crossover episode with the robot from “Small Wonder,” now all grown up, as Dan’s new love interest. (In the TV universe robots can age, okay?) Have Roseanne rob a bank (offscreen) and then go on the lam, with Dan occasionally seen having one-sided phone chats with her about her whereabouts. “What? The cops have you cornered on the Golden Gate Bridge and they’re shooting? All right, call me back and let me know how it turns out. Bye.”

As I have no snappy or topical conclusion to this post, begin your weekend with a little Bad Lip Reading.