How 'The Conners' Will Handle Roseanne's Absence

The Conners producers are keeping the way the show will deal with Roseanne Barr's exit close to the chest, but don't expect the show to take the Kevin Can Wait route on the difficult subject.

As previously reported, ABC's smash hit Roseanne was abruptly canceled in May after series star Barr tweeted a racist comment at former White House aide Valerie Jarrett. After more than a month of speculation and behind-the-scenes negotiations, The Conners spinoff was announced featuring every character from the original series except for Roseanne Conner.

Since then, the question on how the show will write off Roseanne, and how it will handle the fall-out of the exit have been looming as we draw closer to premiere day.

"All I can say is that she will not be there," showrunner Bruce Helford told TVLine when asked if rumors that Roseanne Conner would die off-screen were true.

While Helford will not give specifics, he did reveal that Roseanne's loss will be at the center of the spinoff series' 10-episode first season.

"We don't shy away from the heavy moments," Helford told the outlet. "I don't know that there's any show that can better handle [such a weighty storyline]."

He teased that everyone in the Conner family will step up to fill the void left by its former matriarch, highlighting Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Dan (John Goodman) as two will will grow from the sudden chain of events. Dan will also reportedly get closer to his grandchildren Mark, Harris and Mary in the process.

Helford's words come more than a week since Goodman told The Sunday Times that Roseanne would be killed off the Conners, and Dan would be seen mourning his wife's death.

"It's an unknown. I guess he'll be mopey and sad because his wife's dead," Goodman told the British publication.

In the same interview, Goodman said he was shocked by ABC's decision to cancel the series, and revealed he faced some dark moments after news broke.

"[B]ut I thought, 'OK, it's just show business, I'm going to let it go,'" Goodman said. "But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. I'm a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit.

"I'll put it this way, I was surprised at the response ... And that's probably all I should say about it," he told the Times.

The rest of the Roseanne cast is expected to return, including Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman.

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The Conners premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 on ABC in the same 8 p.m. ET timeslot Roseanne held last spring.