‘The Conners’ premiere addressed Roseanne’s fate and a lot of fans are upset

The Conner sisters process the death of their mother, Roseanne, differently on ‘The Conners.’ ABC/Eric McCandless

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “The Conners.”

ABC debuted its “Roseanne” spin-off, “The Conners,” Tuesday night and the series quickly addressed the absence of its former lead star, Roseanne Barr.

“The Conners” explained that Roseanne Conner died by opioid overdose after surviving a knee surgery.

The reveal didn’t completely come out of left field. When we last saw Roseanne, the character was struggling with an addiction to painkillers. In September, Barr spoiled the reveal by saying her character would be killed off.

Many took to Twitter to share they weren’t happy with how Barr was written off the series.


The successful “Roseanne” revival was canceled by ABC in May after Barr compared former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape on Twitter. A month later, a 10-episode spin-off without Barr was announced with the rest of the cast reprising their roles.

Executive producer, Tom Werner, addressed how it was decided to kill Roseanne Conner off of the series during a panel Tuesday night in New York City at PaleyFest.

“This was a challenge that Roseanne Conner was dealing with last year, and we felt that this was something that could shine a light on something,” said Werner.

Barr expressed her disappointment with how her character was killed off the show in a statement to INSIDER after the ABC series’ premiere.

Some fans noticed that Roseanne Conner’s death on the series felt similar to how Glenn Quinn, who played Becky’s husband, Mark, died in real life. Quinn died in 2002 as the result of an accidental heroin overdose.

They found it to be in bad taste to his memory.


The series still hasn’t revealed how Becky’s husband died on the revival. On Tuesday’s premiere, Becky briefly noted that she was having a tough time dealing with her mother’s death after the loss of Mark.

How Mark died may be something the series explores this season as each character grieves in their own way with the death of Roseanne Conner.

“The Conners” airs Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m. You can read our review of the premiere here.

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