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ABC orders ‘Roseanne’ spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its “Roseanne” revival over its star’s racist tweet, said Thursday it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Roseanne Barr this fall.

ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr relinquished any creative or financial participation in it, which the network had said was a condition of such a series.

In a statement issued by the show’s producer, Barr said she agreed to the settlement to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members who were idled when “Roseanne” was canceled last month.

“I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from ‘Roseanne,’ she said, adding, “I wish the best for everyone involved.”

The revival of the hit 1988-97 sitcom “Roseanne” was swiftly axed by ABC last month after Barr posted a tweet likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”

Tom Werner, executive producer of the original series and the revival, said in the statement that he was grateful to reach the deal to keep the team working “as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family.”

ABC said that the new series, with “The Conners” as its working title, will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman.

How Barr’s character, the family matriarch, will be erased from their lives was left unexplained for now by ABC.

“After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before,” the network said in its announcement, referring to the fictional Illinois town where the family lives.

The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago,” ABC said, a nod to the unusual portrayal of a blue-collar family on TV.

In a joint statement, the cast expressed support for the project.

“We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience,” they said.

After getting the chance last season to tell stories about challenges facing working-class family, they’re glad to “continue to share those stories through love and laughter,” the actors said.

The new show was ordered from producer Werner Entertainment without a pilot episode, the typical basis for a series to be greenlit.

Barr’s tweet had been condemned by ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey as “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”

Barr initially apologized and deleted the post, which had followed her pattern of making controversial political and social statements on social media. Some observers questioned why ABC had ordered the revival given her history.

But the comedy’s return was an instant smash for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., and was counted on to lead the network’s fortunes next season.

Its first new episode last March was seen by more than 25 million people, with delayed viewing counted in, numbers that are increasingly rare in network television.

Kantar Media said “Roseanne” earned an estimated $45 million in advertising revenue for ABC through last season’s nine-episode run.

The show tackled hot-button topics such as the opioid epidemic, single parenting and the Trump presidency, with the fictional Roseanne’s support mirrored by that of Barr in real life.

The reboot also prompted some outrage, including over a joke about two other TV comedies featuring minority characters that was deemed dismissive and an episode some people called Islamophobic.

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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