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Fuller House just has begun work on its first episode, but executive producers already have made one major change to the original conceit: D.J. Tanner is no longer a pregnant widow.
“She’s actually not pregnant anymore. The baby’s been born,” star Candace Cameron Bure told The Hollywood Reporter at a Television Critics Association press tour event Wednesday. “We didn’t start it off quite so heavy, so some more time has passed than they originally intended.”
In the original description for the upcoming sequel series, which premieres on Netflix in 2016, D.J. was supposed to be a newly widowed mother of two with a third bun in the oven — very similar to the premise of the original series, in which her father, Danny (Bob Saget), was left widowed with three young children after his wife was killed by a drunk driver.
“It is tragedy that starts off the show, which was like the original Full House, but the themes are always heartfelt; it’s always a situation you can always learn something from,” she said. “Tonally, it will feel the same as the original Full House, which is heartfelt and funny and family-friendly, but it’s current. It’s today’s time.”
Once the show’s loyal fan base learned that D.J. would be a widow in the new incarnation, speculation immediately turned to the status of her high school boyfriend Steve (Scott Weinger). “Rest assured, Steve is not dead,” said Cameron Bure.
Weinger himself tweeted a photo from the set of the new series. However, Cameron Bure said the subject of her character’s late husband also will be broached on Fuller House. “You’ll learn little bits about him throughout the show, just like you did on the original Full House,” she said. “Whether they’ll have flashback scenes or anything like that, I have no idea, but we talk about him because you have to. When that happens and you have children, it’s something you have to discuss and discuss those emotions and the healing from it and how to move on.”
Despite some of the sad events in D.J.’s life, Cameron Bure is eager to dive into that character once again. “It’s just fun to see her as a mom and just to see what [kind of] mom she’s become and what kind of woman,” she said. “It’s fun to be able to develop her even more, particularly because I get to do that with the writers and sit down and talk with them and hear their thoughts, and they hear my thoughts.”
Luckily, there are still some happy moments for the original characters. Lori Loughlin, who was also at Wednesday’s event, revealed that Becky is still a news anchor and still married to Jesse (John Stamos). “I’ve always thought that they were still a couple that was happily married and still in love, and they are,” said Loughlin. “Knowing that Jeff [Franklin] was writing it, and he was the original creator of the show, I don’t think any of us had too many concerns about the characters being taken care [of] and serviced in the right way.”
For Cameron Bure, it also helps that she is a mother of three in real life. “Really, since the show was in the conceptual stages, we started talking about the character and, just like with the original show, the writers would always want to know what was going on in our personal lives and what would translate and could translate that would be relatable to scripts on the show,” she said. “They’re asking me what kind of mom I am with my three kids. So we’re going to use a lot of my own personal experiences, but we’ll make them D.J.’s, in the way that she is a mom.”
Although Cameron Bure is a series regular on the new series, it remains to be seen how frequently some of the other original stars will appear beyond the first episode. “They’re talking about having [me] maybe come back here and there,” said Loughlin. “We just need to figure out the dates. Because I know we’d all like to pop in and do Fuller House if we could.”
Fuller House premieres on Netflix in 2016.
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