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Roseanne Barr pictured in March. F Sadou/Zuma Press/PA Images
Racism row

Roseanne is coming back ... without Roseanne

A reboot of the show was axed last month.

THE US TELEVISION network ABC has announced that it plans to launch a spinoff of the Roseanne series without its embattled star, who was dropped last month after making racist comments.

Many of the cast’s original actors are due to perform their roles in the new 10-episode series tentatively titled The Conners, slated to premiere this autumn, the network said in a statement.

Roseanne Barr (65) — a vocal Trump supporter who has tweeted far-right and conspiracy theorist views — will have no financial or creative involvement in the show, the network said.

Roseanne was one of the few depictions of working-class life on US television, and also of Trump supporters — who have been largely ignored by Hollywood.

The sitcom was the most watched series of the year on major American TV networks before its sudden cancellation.

Nonetheless, the network axed Roseanne after Barr used Twitter to liken Valerie Jarrett, an African-American former White House aide, to an ape.

Barr apologised for her racist tweet but ABC condemned it as “abhorrent” and “inconsistent with our values” in announcing the cancellation of her show.

‘Sudden turn of events’ 

The network said in a statement: “The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love.”

The new sitcom would begin “after a sudden turn of events” that would force the family “to face the daily struggles of life … in a way they never have before”, ABC said.

The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.

In a joint statement, cast members including John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf said: “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.

“We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today,” the cast members said.

We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.

Roseanne had been off the air for 21 years before its reboot, which premiered with almost 22 million viewers, according to ABC.

© AFP 2018 

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