Update: ABC has confirmed that Roseanne is returning to the network with its original cast (including John Goodman) for eight episodes.
Roseanne is returning to our screens, and fans of the show are both excited and anxious. Roseanne was a juggernaut in the ratings throughout its nine-season run on ABC, but its ending left many viewers feeling let down — and wondering how a new season is even possible.
Season 9 encompassed many changes for the Connors, including Darlene's wedding to David and the birth of their child, whose life hung in the balance. Along with that, Dan had a heart attack and the Connors won the lottery, a move that didn't sit too well with fans, considering the Connors had always been a blue-collar family that lived from paycheck to paycheck. Millions of viewers identified with their struggle, and the lottery win seemed to be a copout.
But just when we thought we'd seen everything, the final episode of Roseanne had our heads spinning — Dan had actually died when he'd had the heart attack, and the entire series was a story Roseanne had written about her life with Dan and the family.
To say that fans were unhappy is an understatement. As Roseanne "told" the story, she'd changed a lot about the characters and what had happened in their lives. In Roseanne's reality, the Connors had never won the lottery, Jackie was a lesbian, and their mother was straight. And Mark and Darlene were together as a couple, as were David and Becky. So Darlene's baby didn't exist, and the emotional moments where the baby struggled to survive didn't happen, either.
So, is there any way for the series to move forward?
Over the years, TV writers have wrangled characters out of sticky situations with tongue-in-cheek episodes. With Roseanne set for an eight-episode comeback season, producers and writers will certainly have to figure out a way to rewrite Season 9, perhaps even erasing it from the series altogether, which many fans would actually welcome.
In a 2009 post on her blog, Roseanne suggested that Dan could return after having faked his death, but that wouldn't reset everything that had happened in Season 9. Perhaps Season 10 could open with Roseanne giving Dan her manuscript to read, or Roseanne waking up from a dream. However it happens, we're looking forward to seeing exactly how the Connors will return to 714 Delaware Street in Lanford, Illinois.
Are you looking forward to seeing Roseanne Season 10?