'The Conners': How Roseanne's Death Plays Into Tonight's Episode

A new teaser for tonight's episode of The Conners, "A Stomach Ache, A Heartbreak and a Grave Mistake," has hit Twitter, and something weird is going on at Roseanne's grave. Laurie Metcalf's Jackie rushes in to tell the family that she has just returned from visiting the graveyard, and all is not right. While, no, the departed matriarch has not risen from the dead, the teaser points to something strange. Viewers will have to tune in at 9 p.m. ET on ABC to find out.

The latest episode will not only deal with the after-effects of Roseanne's death, but it will also be a helpful one for parents who are struggling to figure out how much they should tell their children about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Dan (John Goodman) expresses concern about how much Darlene (Sara Gilbert) talks to Mark (Ames McNamara) about the coronavirus.

This is an issue that has baffled parents everywhere, and executive producers Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan explained that this real-world relevance was essential to what makes The Conners tick. Helford explained to Forbes that while they wrote the episode back in July and August, it's still incredibly relevant "because the amount of information has just been building and building and building and building."

This kind of cultural relevance has become an essential part of The Conners and has been part of the code between creator and audience. "I think we have a bond with our audience where they expect us to be kind of brutally honest," Caplan explained. "We feel like we're giving them what they want from us."

Executive producer and star Sara Gilbert verbalized what many parents are feeling about how to talk to their kids about the pandemic. "We are all struggling with what to say to our kids," she said. "There is no perfect plan because the circumstances are so imperfect… Parents are dealing with their own fears and anxieties while having to decide how to handle their kids' emotions...It's not a bad takeaway to be honest while still trying to keep in mind that some kids are scared and want their parents to help them feel safe."

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This level of authenticity is paramount to Gilbert. "We've always tried to represent blue-collar, middle-class families," Gilbert told the New York Times. "To pretend this isn't happening seems out of touch. Life and death stories are familiar territory for us."