Within the first few moments of The Conners premiere Tuesday night, it was revealed how Roseanne Barr was written out of the show: Her character, Roseanne Conner, was dead.
The very-much-alive Barr didn't care for this twist, tweeting, "I AIN'T DEAD BITCHES!!!!" The original Roseanne aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997, and a revival was launched this spring. ABC canceled the show in May after Barr tweeted a message that likened former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett to Planet of the Apes, but the network ordered a spin-off, The Conners, in mid-June, with everyone but Barr coming back.
Barr released a statement on Tuesday, written with her spiritual adviser Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, saying they wish the "very best for the cast and production crew," but "regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show." People loved Roseanne Conner "not in spite of her flaws, but because of them," they added. "The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive." Catherine Garcia