Fans have been wracking their brains trying to find a way that the Roseanne revival writer's room can bring back Dan Connor from the dead, but the actor himself says he hasn't given it much thought.
Fielding questions from TV journalists during the show's panel at the 2018 Television Critics Association winter press tour, John Goodman was hilariously terse when asked his thoughts about his first scene.
"I didn't really care," he said as the room burst into laughter. "I thought it was a clever way to do it, handle it and get it out of the way."
The show will reportedly address Dan's mortality in the very first scene of the revival, and Roseanne Barr noted that it may be brought up multiple times throughout season 10, even going so far as to say Dan really didn't die.
As fans will remember from the season 9 finale back in 1997, a collection of bizarre scenes were thrown together after the family “won” the Illinois state lottery, only to be told in the final episode that it was all made up as Roseanne’s way of coping with Dan’s death. Audience members thought Dan survived a heart attack at the end of season 8, but the finale episode revealed all the events shown after were fictional tales from the already fictional family — or so we thought.
“I think you should rewatch it,” Barr said at the TCA panel, maintaining that Dan did not actually die in the show.
“A lot of the reason that I did that was to add another layer of freshness for people who are going to watch the series over and over,” she added.
"In the original series, I always wanted to have the tenth year so I could do exactly what I did in these nine [episodes,] which was to finish and complete the story of this family," she admitted. "So, I always had that in my head that that was how it would go, and so I'm very happy we got a tenth season and we got to do that."
When pressed on the fact that the original finale did, however, make clear that Dan had died following his heart attack at Darlene's (Sara Gilbert) wedding in season eight, she challenged that assertion: "Did it?"
She says she planted the seeds for something bigger all the way back in the third-ever episode of the sitcom.
"In the third episode of Roseanne, Dan builds Roseanne a writing room and Roseanne is a writer," she added. "So that's always what I wanted to do and what I had in mind for the completion of the tenth season."
Later in the panel, she was asked to clarify whether the upcoming revival was the season that Roseanne was writing in her writing room or if it was all of season nine. She maddeningly replied, "Yes."
The cast has had some laughs in the revival promo teasers, though, poking fun at Dan’s return from the “dead.”
One of the clips shared in December shows the Conner family reunited on their family couch as Dan watches TV and Roseanne adds quirky commentary to whatever he's watching.
In the first promo, Dan criticizes the current Chicago Bulls lineup, saying they couldn't compete with the '96-'97 iteration of the team, as Roseanne and the couple's daughter Becky Conner (Lecy Goranson) look on.
"You can't live in the past, Dan," Roseanne replies. "When things are gone, they're gone forever."
Fans were left with serious questions about how Dan made it out alive, but Barr didn’t budge with providing an explanation.
All questions should be answered when Roseanne returns to ABC on Tuesday, March 27 for its tenth season.
Photo credit: ABC / Robert Trachtenberg