During a recent interview on YouTube show Walk Away (via Entertainment Weekly), Roseanne Barr claimed that her Roseanne character is going to die off-screen from “an opioid overdose” on ABC’s rebooted revival show The Conners. Barr called the decision “cynical and horrible,” noting that she had decided to introduce a plot point in the previous season where her character took too many pain pills, but she never wanted Roseanne Conner to die like that. Barr was fired from the show that used to bear her name over the summer over a racist comment she made on Twitter, and her former co-star John Goodman theorized recently that ABC was going to kill the character off, but this is the first specific detail we’ve heard about the show.
The problem, though, is that Barr has absolutely no involvement with the current version of the show, so she could just be making this up. Barr’s complete lack of influence was part of the deal when ABC picked up The Conners, with the network saying she had no “financial or creative” stake in the series. On top of that, ABC has been weirdly secretive about everything regarding The Conners, so it’s surprising for Barr to be the one who supposedly knows more about what’s going on than anyone else.
It’s possible that she’s eager to “spoil” the show because she’s mad about getting fired, but it’s also possible that she’s just coming up with some bullshit to make the show look bad. After all, having TV’s Roseanne die in such an overtly tragic way does seem like a little much, and hearing this might not give viewers a lot of faith in The Conners. The other wrinkle in ABC’s deal with Barr is that she retains the rights to all of the characters, so she’ll still control Roseanne once The Conners ends. So, if The Conners is an instant flop, everything will revert back to Barr that much quicker, meaning it’s in her best interest to convince people not to watch it.
Barr loves conspiracy theories, and now her old show has one of its own.