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More than 20 years after it signed off, ABC is bringing Roseanne back to primetime.
Following its initial nine-season run from 1988-1997, the nine-episode revival is bringing back all of its original stars — and then some — as well as a roster of new faces as ABC looks to revisit the middle-class Connor family from Lanford, Ill.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up all the details (so far) about the highly anticipated Roseanne reboot.
Why is ABC reviving Roseanne? In a “Peak TV” era of nearly 500 scripted shows, familiar titles are one easy way to cut through the crowded marketplace. Reboots and revivals also are easier to promote as they already have a large viewership and name recognition, making the financial burden of marketing more attractive. On another level, Roseanne focused on the working class, something that likely appealed to ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. The executive noted that in a Trump-led America, the network needs to do a better job of reflecting middle America.
Original stars Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Michael Fishman (DJ), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Sarah Chalke (who also played Becky but is returning for a new role) are all confirmed to return. Johnny Galecki, who played Darlene’s boyfriend, David, is confirmed to reprise his role for one episode. Galecki currently stars on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which is produced by Chuck Lorre, who was a writer and executive producer on Roseanne. But since the show is produced by a different studio, Galecki had contractual limitations that prohibited him from filming additional episodes.
Estelle Parsons will reprise her role on two episodes as Beverly, Roseanne and Jackie’s mother.
Sandra Bernhard will be back for an episode as Nancy, Roseanne’s friend.
James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy) will also be back for an episode as Dan’s poker friend, Chuck.
Natalie West is back as Roseanne and Jackie’s friend (and Dan’s step-mother) Crystal Anderson.
Adilah Barnes also will return as Anne Marie Mitchell, Roseanne and Jackie’s childhood friend.
Emma Kenney (Shameless) will take on the role of Harris, Darlene and David’s 14-year-old daughter. Harris was first introduced in season nine, when Darlene delivered prematurely. On the revival, Harris is a recent transplant from Chicago to Lanford, Illinois, and not necessarily happy about it. She is determined to do better than her parents and grandparents. Her choices from clothes to friends should represent her drive to move up the socioeconomic ladder. Harris vacillates between typical teenage acting out to showing she actually has a big heart. Roseanne diehards will recall that Harris was Roseanne and Jackie’s maiden name.
Ames McNamara will play Mark, David and Darlene’s 8-year-old son.
Jayden Rey will play DJ’s daughter, Mary Conner.
Christopher Lloyd (Taxi, Back to the Future) will guest star on one episode as Lou, Beverly’s boyfriend.
DAN’S DEATH WILL BE IGNORED
Remember that series finale in which Goodman’s family patriarch Dan died? Ignore that. “I wouldn’t say that it is ignoring the events of the finale, but I can confirm that Dan is definitely still alive,” Dungey told reporters in August.
The fate of David’s older brother, Mark, will be addressed. Glenn Quinn starred as Mark but died of a drug overdose in 2002. David and Darlene’s son is also named Mark, which likely could be in tribute to his uncle.
Barr, as she did during the 220-episode-plus initial run, will continue to write on the series and executive produce. Tom Werner and Bruce Helford are also returning to exec produce the revival, which was spearheaded by Gilbert, who also exec produces. They are joined by series newcomers Whitney Cummings and Jax Media’s Tony Hernandez.
Roseanne will return with a special hourlong premiere Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, after which it will air half-hour episodes in its regular time slot on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
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