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Roseanne Spinoff Without Roseanne Barr Being Considered by ABC *Updated*

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The Conners - More Progess Takes Place; Deal Could Come Within the Week as Roseanne Is Expected to Sign an Agreement Allowing ABC to Proceed with the Spinoff

Per Deadline, a lot of work is being done behind the scenes to get this spinoff into fruition.

It's expected Roseanne Barr will sign an agreement to remove her from the potential spinoff/revamp therefore preventing her from suing over it. The terms of this agreement aren't clear but it might include a one-off payment from the production company Carsey-Werner to Barr in exchange of her relinquishing any rights so she won’t be entitled to any profits from the spinoff." ABC has seven days for the decision on the pickup hence why they've been holding out on announcing a replacement for Roseanne on its fall schedule. Should Roseanne sign ABC will likely move forward with the spinoff, possibly titled The Conners. I encourage you to read Deadline's full article via the link below for complete details.

With its conditions of no Barr involvement in the new series met, I hear ABC is likely to proceed with the spinoff. The network and the producers already had been brainstorming titles with several contenders in play. While Darlene was a moniker that had been circulated early on when rumors first surfaced about a possible new series centered on the character played by co-star/executive producer Sara Gilbert, I hear another name that is under consideration is The Conners, which would keep the strong ties to the original series without any Roseanne references while also underscoring the show’s family and ensemble nature.

As this is considered a new series, I hear the cast and the writers all have closed or are in final stages of negotiations on new contracts for the proposed spinoff to replace the deals they had in place for Season 2 of the revival. That doesn’t necessarily mean different terms; I hear the established stars of the show will likely remain at the previously renegotiated salaries for next season, reported to be around $300,000 an episode, though I hear the new pacts are for one year vs. the previous two-year length. I hear there have been some pay increases for the writing staff that are coming back.

ABC & EP's Remain Hopeful as Decision Time Looms Closer

Per Deadline, The Roseanne-less project was pitched last Monday be a group of executive producers and show runner Bruce Helford which went well. The idea of continuing the show without Roseanne Barr was met with “thumbs up by the network”. Since then the matter has been the in the hands of lawyers. ABC’s executives had made it clear that they would only proceed with a spinoff series if she has absolutely no involvement — creative, financial or any other. So far things remain optimistic but time is running out.

The opening credits for the revival (which mirror those for the original series, read: Roseanne is created by Matt Williams, based on a character created by Roseanne Barr (images on left). If Williams is considered the sole creator of the series, with Barr only credited for originating the character that became Roseanne Conner, if a followup series does not feature Roseanne Conner, one could make an argument that Barr is not entitled to profits.

However, things are not that simple, after all Roseanne, the series, exists because of the character created by Barr. The complexity of the issue explains the prolonged legal review and delayed pickup decision. The case has to be iron-clad as a new series without Barr would likely trigger a lawsuit by the comedian.

Producers Wait On ABC's Decision on Sara Gilbert Spinoff

Per Variety, hurdles still remain but a decision on whether ABC picks up or passes on the Sarah Gilbert, Darlene, starring spinoff, is expected "as early as this week". It's expected that John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf would come aboard the spinoff as well as the showrunner of Roseanne and most of the revival writing staff.

Because schedules had already been cleared to have the new season of “Roseanne” ready in time for fall, production on the possible spinoff could be up and running quickly — though not quick enough that the show could make it onto the schedule in time for the start of the fall season. Insiders noted that the earliest initial episodes might be available to premiere by would be late November.

Revamp Moving Closer to Reality

Per Deadline the revamp creative pitching conversations continue tonight as the over the phone call conversations during the weekend went well.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, a formal announcement could come this week on a Roseanne-free Roseanne as conversations continue to happen.

Less than a week after its stunning decision to cancel Roseanne, ABC is inching closer to a spinoff of TV's No. 1 series.

Multiple ideas are being discussed, including one focused on Gilbert's Darlene as the actress was the driving force of the ABC revival.

Roseanne Revamp Without Roseanne Barr Being Considered by ABC

Per Deadline, producers will meet with Disney/ABC on Monday to pitch a revamp of the series without Roseanne Barr. Details beyond that are scarce.

Details about the concept that will be pitched are unclear but the show is expected to stay true to the praised first season of the revival — the series’ 11th overall — featuring the other cast members except Barr. There could be stronger emphasis on Sara Gilbert’s character Darlene, which can be expected since the revival was centered mainly on three characters, Roseanne (Barr), Dan (John Goodman) and their daughter Darlene (Gilbert) who moved back home with her kids.

Still, sources close to the situation caution that there are major hurdles to overcome. While independent production company Carsey-Werner owns and produces Roseanne, there are legal and rights issues that need to be settled as Barr was co-creator and executive producer on the series and has ownership/backend. Warner Bros. TV’s decision to fire Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen and continue the show without him resulted in him filing a $100 million lawsuit against the studio, eventually settled for $25 million that WBTV paid him to cover his backend.

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