When Allahpundit first picked up on these rumors, I was skeptical, to say the least, and AP was downright cynical. (“C’mon. This is like dumping the Fonz from “Happy Days” and rebooting it to focus on Potsie.”) I also didn’t think it sounded likely enough to be overly concerned. I was really enjoying the new season for the most part, though it could have used a lot more Sarah Chalke and, frankly, less Sara Gilbert. But a show about the Connor family without the matriarch? Pshaw.
It’s looking this week like it was more than idle chatter. The Washington Times reports that the producers are scrambling to get people signed on and figure out how they would make it work in time for the next season.
Hollywood may not be done with the “Roseanne” reboot just yet.
ABC is in talks to possibly continue the smash hit show in one form or another after its sudden cancellation in the fallout of Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweet, according to several reports.
The second reboot would be a spinoff of the original storyline. The potential new show could focus on one or more of the other Conner family members instead of Roseanne.
ABC’s executives are wrestling with a few different factors here, some of which may still prove to be insurmountable. They lost the top-rated show on their network virtually overnight. And given how hard it is to strike gold with a weekly network sitcom anymore, that’s got to hurt, so the impetus to patch this boat up and coax it back out to sea for at least one more season is understandable. But they have to keep the theoretical next season “legally distinct” from Roseanne Barr’s original property or else they’ll have to pay her (assuming she agrees to it). That not only cuts into their profits but puts them back on the hot seat for funneling money to someone they supposedly think is so radioactive that they dumped her. The critics would still tear them apart for “supporting” the person with the racist tweets.
But if they change it too much, then it just becomes yet another spinoff with some potentially likable characters, but without the driving force that made it the original success it was. Let’s face it… having the pro-Trump character who still managed to be lovable mixed in with leftist characters is what made the reboot work in today’s toxic climate. If you take that magic out of the formula you’re mostly left with yet another collection of liberals whining. We can get that anywhere if we want it, so you basically just lost half your audience.
And are people going to watch a show primarily based around Becky and her gender-ambiguous kid with occasional appearances by Grampa Dan so he can grumble about the non-union illegal alien workers taking his contracts? Color me dubious. I’m not saying that spinoffs have never made it as huge hits, but that was largely in the distant past. Happy Days produced some big dollar spinoffs (Laverne and Shirley lasted a long time) and Frasier was arguably as successful as Cheers, if not even more so. But those are rare, rare flowers in a field of mostly weeds.
The majority of spinoffs tend to stink on ice and don’t last very long. The ones that do succeed have powerful stars of their own who already had a fan following from the original show. Does anyone think that any of the adult kids of the Connors have that sort of appeal and will draw the same sort of audience? Hey… maybe I’m way out of the mainstream and it will do great, but I don’t think they’d get me to tune in for it.
Anyway, best of luck to them. The other cast members deserve a shot and there were a lot of crew jobs lost through no fault of their own when they pulled the plug. I hope it works out for them.