×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Talks Heat Up at ABC

Talks between ABC and “Roseanne” producers on a possible spinoff of the canceled multicamera comedy are building momentum.

Sources tell Variety that the network is increasingly interested in finding a way to continue the series without controversial star Roseanne Barr, whose racist tweet last week triggered the sudden cancellation of the show. The network and producers late last week scheduled a meeting to discuss spinoff possibilities. Talks between ABC and exec producers, including Tom Werner, stretched through the weekend and are now ongoing.

Several significant obstacles, however, remain to potentially prevent a version of the series from continuing without Barr. “Roseanne” is based on a character created by Barr, who could argue that she therefore has an ownership stake in any iteration that includes other characters created for the series, such as Sara Gilbert’s Darlene Conner, around whom much spinoff speculation has centered. Any situation in which Barr would stand to gain financially from a new series is considered unpalatable to ABC and producers.

ABC announced on Tuesday morning that it had canceled “Roseanne” just hours after the star apologized for a racist tweet directed at Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Barack Obama. Barr subsequently apologized for the tweet, later blaming it on her consumption of the sleeping drug Ambien. But since the show’s cancellation, she has lashed out at fellow stars and producers, including Gilbert.

“Roseanne” finished the 2017-18 television season as the No. 1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day numbers. Barr was featured prominently last month at the network’s joint upfront presentation with cable channel Freeform, where she introduced Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood. The comic and the exec embraced in an onstage hug, with Barr joking that Sherwood was “the guy responsible for most of my tweets.”

In a statement last Tuesday, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said, “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

RELATED CONTENT:

More TV

  • REEF BREAK - "Pilot" - When

    TV Review: 'Reef Break'

    Unmoored from reason or shame and buoyed by its willingness to be as silly as it wants to be, the new ABC drama “Reef Break” is a wildly unserious piece of television. In that, it’s a bit refreshing — a network series that embraces its network-iness, that has absolutely no ambition beyond evoking a smile. [...]

  • Imagine Kids + Family

    Imagine Kids & Family to Develop Scripted Space Series at Nickelodeon (EXCLUSIVE)

    Imagine Entertainment is continuing to build out its kids and family division with the addition of a new Nickelodeon project. Variety has learned exclusively that Imagine Kids & Family is developing an untitled scripted space series with the children’s’ network. “Working with Brian, Ron and all the creative voices at Imagine to create this project [...]

  • GRAND HOTEL - ABC's "Grand Hotel"

    TV Ratings: 'Grand Hotel' Premieres Low, ABC Still Wins Monday

    ABC’s “Grand Hotel” premiered to not so grand figures for the network. Based on the original Spanish series and starring Demian Bichir, Eva Longoria and Roselyn Sanchez, “Grand Hotel” provides an upstairs/downstairs look at the scandals and secrets of both the Mendoza family and the staff that works for them. The series premiere scored a [...]

  • And Then We Danced

    Swedish Outfit French Quarter Steps Into TV With Graphic Novel Adaptation

    Swedish production company French Quarter, the outfit behind Cannes Directors’ Fortnight entry “And Then We Danced,” is venturing into TV with a web series adapted from Henrik Bromander’s graphic novel “Kurs I självutplåning” (“Course in self-annihilation”). The comedy series has been commissioned by the Swedish broadcaster SVT, as first reported by Nordic Film & TV [...]

  • Euphoria

    TV Ratings: 'Euphoria' Premieres to Solid Numbers, 'Big Little Lies' Rises

    HBO’s new series “Euphoria” has been causing waves due to the abundance of of violence, graphic nudity and drug use by its young characters that it puts on screen. Helped by star Zendaya, whose social media post prior to the premiere reminding viewers of the show’s mature themes has more than 200,000 likes, and a [...]

  • Donna-Brazile-Fox-News

    Donna Brazile Is Ready to Talk Left-Leaning Politics - on Fox News

    A stalwart Democrat plus Fox News Channel? That’s a recipe for making sparks fly. But Donna Brazile says she’s not looking for a fight when she appears on the cable-news outlet. Brazile, the former campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 and a one-time interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, was named a Fox [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content