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‘The Conners’ Premiere: How Roseanne’s Character Was Written Off the Spinoff

The premiere of The Conners wasted no time when it came to approaching the elephant in the room. During the Tuesday, October 16, premiere of the revival’s spinoff, the Conner family learned that Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) had died. Laurie Metcalf‘s Jackie, as well as Roseanne’s mother (Estelle Parsons), stepped in to help the family. They thought it was a heart attack, but the coroner’s report revealed it was actually an overdose on opioids.

Related: 'The Conners': First Look at the New Family Photos

Dan (John Goodman) was appalled by the fact that Roseanne overdosed, especially since he had flushed all of her pills after her knee surgery. Looking for someone to blame, he flipped out on the woman whose name was on the pill bottle. However, he later learned that the woman was just one of many people who was giving Roseanne pain pills, and she had stashes all over the house.

The Conners Premiere Recap
John Goodman on ‘The Conners.’ ABC/Eric McCandless

In case you missed it, ABC canceled Roseanne in May after Barr made a racist remark on Twitter. However, the network announced The Conners the following month, which would continue telling the story of the family living in Lanford, sans Barr’s character.

Related: 'Roseanne' Cast: Then and Now

However, without Roseanne, the Conner family was forced to do things they wouldn’t do before — like clean the sofa in the living room. It also meant that instead of talking to Roseanne, Mark (Ames McNamara) revealed to Dan that he was gay. Dan reassured his grandson that he wasn’t mad, only upset that he had waited so long to tell him.

The Conners Premiere Recap
Estelle Parsons, Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf on ‘The Conners.’ ABC/Eric McCandless

Jackie, who had spent the entire episode cleaning the Conners’ house and trying to find a place for everything, quickly realized she was doing it because she didn’t know where she belonged. She broke down to Darlene (Sara Gilbert), admitting she didn’t want to leave the house “because I don’t want to leave her.”

The premiere ended with the credits, which included the entire family sitting around the table. However, this time, there was no loud laughter at the end, just one happy group. Viewers also saw Dan crawl back into his bed — he had been sleeping on the couch since Roseanne’s death.

Related: Reboots Missing Beloved TV Stars

The Conners airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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