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"The Conners" showrunner Bruce Helford explains why he killed Roseanne with opiate addiction



As former "Roseanne" star Roseanne Barr slipped last month "Premiere" of the series "Conners" showed that Barr's character died of opioid dependence. The show debuted after a series of dramatic spring setbacks: Barr was first fired after writing a racist tweet then the "Roseanne" reboot was canceled but eventually Barr agreed Abandoning any creative or financial affiliations, ABC returned the cast, without Barr, for a new show called "The Conners".

Showrunner Bruce Helford now reveals why he and his team have decided to kill Barr's character the way they did.

Helford, who has worked with Barr since the original "Roseanne" series in the 1

990s, said, "I wanted a respectful farewell." He told The Hollywood Reporter that killing the character with a heart attack was "cowardly". He said when the show was canceled, he felt that he and his crew and cast still wanted to continue the family's story for their audience.

He said, "We felt there would be a second half, we had the infrastructure, a cast without any engagement, a production team and a crew that worked with precision, 10 previous seasons of backstories and hardest Found in the land of 5,000 channels and "Fortnite": a dedicated, loyal, passionate audience. "Helford said ABC gave the go-ahead only a few weeks after the cancellation to restart without Barr.

Helford stated that he and his coworkers did not want a story that was "far-fetched, anything that would make the Conner's fierce matriarch pathetic or demeaning" and instead wanted a closure that would "leave no shadow" the rest the Conners. He continued, "I also wanted to have a respectful response to them: one that is relevant and could spark a discussion for the benefit of the American working class, whose authentic issues are often ignored on television."

He also said he wanted to respect not only Barr's character but also the actress herself. He said, "Roseanne helped start my career."

The showrunner said that when "The Conners" shot the first scene, he was worried, but soon, "Laurie Metcalf landed a big laugh over casseroles, and you could feel the audience relax the rest of The Evening, from dramatic moments that hold your breath to big, explosive, cathartic laughter – As a writer you can not ask for more … In the first episode we mourn the loss of our matriarch. "

Die The first episode of "The Conners" took place three weeks after Roseanne's funeral. Her family learns that she secretly became addicted to painkillers during an operation and died from an accidental opioid overdose. Roseanne's addiction to painkillers actually came out in the penultimate episode of the "Roseanne" reboot.

Barr did not approve of the premiere episode and released a joint statement with her friend and mentor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, saying, "While we wish it the best for the cast and production crew of & # 39; The Conners & # 39 ;, all of whom are deeply devoted to their craft and were Roseanne's esteemed colleagues, we regret that ABC & # 39; dropped Roseanne & # 39 ;, by killing the Roseanne Conner character. "She also tweeted Tuesday night," Me I'm not dead, B *** HES !!!! "

Barr said in September that her character would be killed with opioid dependence. "It was not enough [fire me] they had to cruelly offend the people who loved this family and this show," she complained. "There's nothing I can do about it, it's over, it's over, there's no more fighting."

In August, "Conners" star John Goodman said he believes Roseanne's character would be dead in the supporting role. He suspected his character, Dan Conner, Roseanne's husband, would be "mopey and sad" about his wife's death.

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