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'Roseanne' spinoff 'The Conners' debuts on ABC; Barr weighs in

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Laurie Metcalf's new sitcom "The Conners" debuted Tuesday night on ABC. File Photo by Serena Xu-Ning/UPI

By Karen Butler, UPI

Matriarch Roseanne Conner's fate was revealed in the first few seconds of the debut episode of The Conners Tuesday night.

The show is a spinoff of the classic sitcom, Roseanne, which starred Roseanne Barr from 1988 to 1997, and remained popular in re-runs for years. The original series was briefly revived last spring until Barr was fired for making racially charged remarks on Twitter.

ABC later announced it would revamp the show without Barr's involvement. How her character would be written off was not revealed until now.

"It's been three weeks since Grannie Rosie's funeral. Why are people still giving us casseroles?" Roseanne's grandson Mark, played by Ames McNamara, wondered aloud as the family gathered in the Conner kitchen.

"We could not have held this altogether without you," Roseanne's daughter Darlene, played by Sara Gilbert, told her aunt, Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf.

"That's why I'm here. I know Roseanne would want me to step in and watch over the family," Jackie said.

"No, it would kill her, but she's already dead, so carry on," Jackie and Roseanne's mother, Beverly, played by Estelle Parsons, chimed in.

Maya Lynne Robinson was also seen in the episode as Geena Williams-Conner, a U.S. soldier returning from Afghanistan and the religious wife of Michael Fishman's D.J.

Geena and D.J. are the parents of a young daughter named Mary, played by Jayden Rey. Mary tries to get her loved ones to eat better and is the first to mention a cause for Roseanne's death -- a heart attack.

Jackie later tells John Goodman's Dan, Roseanne's husband, that an autopsy indicated Roseanne actually overdosed on opioids she took following knee surgery.

Shortly after the episode aired, Barr tweeted, "I AIN'T DEAD, (expletives)!!!!"

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Entertainment - U.S. Daily News: 'Roseanne' spinoff 'The Conners' debuts on ABC; Barr weighs in
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