Roseanne’s TV career is dead (at least for the moment). Does “Roseanne” have to die, too?
Yes, Roseanne Barr deserved what she got. The racist tweet that got her sitcom canceled wasn’t her first, and it wasn’t her last. There’s no excuse. There’s only one explanation — she’s a racist, despite her denials.
But the rest of the cast and crew didn’t deserve what they got, even though an argument can certainly be made that that they knew what they were getting into. Barr’s history of outrageous behavior and racism was not a secret.
But it’s not entirely crazy to suggest that “Roseanne” could continue without Roseanne. John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie) and Sara Gilbert (Darlene) could easily carry the show, and the plotlines for the extended family could be beefed up. There are plenty of options.
No, a Roseanne-less “Roseanne” would not be a sure thing. There are those who would argue that “Roseanne” without Roseanne Barr would be an improvement, but it’s entirely possible that a lot of the people who watched the show will be so offended by her dismissal that they wouldn’t watch. And there’s no guarantee that those who stayed away because of Barr’s presence will suddenly sign on.
But, creatively, the show could go on without her. It’s happened before. A lot.
• Steve Carrell left “The Office” after Season 7; it continued for two more years.
• Charlie Sheen was fired from “Two and a Half Men” after Season 8; it continued for four more seasons.
• Michael J. Fox left “Spin City” after Season 4; it continued for two more years. (Ironically, Fox was replaced by Charlie Sheen.)
• Shannen Doherty left “Charmed” after Season 3; it continued for five more seasons.
• Nina Dobrev left “The Vampire Diaries” after Season 6; it continued for two more seasons. Dobrev returned for the series finale.
• After appearing briefly and sporadically in Season 5, Suzanne Somers left “Three’s Company”; it continued for three more seasons.
• Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson — two of the original six stars of “M*A*S*H” — left after Season 3; it continued for eight more seasons.
• Shelley Long left “Cheers” after Season 5; it continued six more seasons.
• Ron Howard left “Happy Days” after Season 7; it continued for four more seasons.
• Lisa Bonet left “A Different World” after Season 1; it continued for five more seasons.
• David Caruso left “NYPD Blue” during Season 2; it continued through Season 12. Caruso was replaced by Jimmy Smits, who left after Season 6. Smits was replaced by Rick Schroder, who left after Season 8.
The list goes on and on …
It’s worth remembering that, way back in in 1986, NBC debuted a sitcom titled “Valerie.” It starred Valerie Harper as wife and mother Valerie Hogan; it was relatively successful; and, at the end of the second season, Harper was fired in a contract dispute.
Yes, they fired Valerie from “Valerie.”
But the show went on despite killing off the fictional Valerie. Season 3 was retitled “Valerie’s Family,” with Sandy Duncan joining the cast as Valerie’s sister-in-law/surrogate mother to her three sons. Retitled again as “The Hogan Family,” the show ran a fourth season on NBC and a fifth season on CBS.
No, “Valerie�� was not anywhere near the show that “Roseanne” was. But TV characters die/exit all the time, and their shows continue. It might be worth a shot with “Roseanne.”
“The Conners” sounds like a perfectly good title.