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Roseanne is eyeing a comeback.
An eight-episode revival of the Emmy-winning ABC sitcom is in the works, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.
Series creator and star Roseanne Barr is onboard to return, as are John Goodman and Sara Gilbert, with the latter spearheading the project. Gilbert will executive produce with original series exec producers Barr, Tom Werner and Bruce Helford.
The revival is currently being shopped to networks, with Netflix among the suitors bidding on the project.
The family sitcom, which centered on the working-class Conner family in Illinois, ran on ABC from 1988-1997 and won four Emmys throughout its run. News of the project comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the series finale, which aired May 20, 1997, and nabbed nearly 17 million viewers. At its peak, Roseanne ranked as the top series on television during the 1989-1990 season. Other stars from the show included Laurie Metcalf and Johnny Galecki.
Roseanne would join fellow ‘90s revivals The X-Files, which will be revived for a second time at Fox, NBC’s Will & Grace and Showtime’s Twin Peaks limited series, among others. (For all the revival success stories, there have been several misses, notably the low-rated Heroes revival and the scrapped reboot of Coach.)
Netflix has been big on the revival business, bringing back beloved WB series Gilmore Girls for a limited run in November and producing a sequel to Full House titled Fuller House that is headed into its third season on the streaming giant.
Goodman’s return is particularly surprising, given that it was revealed in the series finale that his character, Dan, had actually died earlier of a heart attack and that his appearances in the ninth and final season had been a product of the writings of the Roseanne character.
However, Barr addressed just that in a 2009 blog post in which she discussed where she believed the various characters would be now. In addition to Dan returning after “faking his death,” highlights included: “DJ gets published. Mark dies in Iraq. David leaves Darlene for a woman half his age. Darlene meets a woman and they have a test tube baby. Becky works at Wal-Mart. Roseanne and Jackie open the first medical marijuana dispensary in town and pay off the mortgage before the house is foreclosed on,” among other highlights.
Gilbert recently reunited with her TV dad Goodman for a segment on her CBS daytime show The Talk in which both reprised their roles from the series.
The return of the blue-collar family comedy comes as more and more networks are looking to increase their appeal to middle America in the Trump era.
In the years since Roseanne went off the air, Barr has played guest-starring roles on TV comedies including The Office and Portlandia, as well as unscripted fare like her eponymous daytime talk show, her Lifetime reality series Roseanne’s Nuts and NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
Goodman has juggled TV and film roles, leaning toward more dramatic fare such as The West Wing, Argo and most recently Patriot’s Day. Galecki currently stars on The Big Bang Theory, which recently nabbed a two-season pickup, while Gilbert exec produces and co-hosts The Talk.
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