The cast of “Rosanne” is back 20 years after the iconic characters won our hearts as the blue-collar Conner family from Landford, Illinois.
Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke and Sara Gilbert joined “Good Morning America” today on their famous sofa to discuss the ABC show’s reboot, which debuts Tuesday with an hour-long episode.
When asked to describe their return to the set in one word, Barr and Goodman both replied, “surreal.”
“It just happened,” Barr said of the series reboot. “Sara and John were on Sara’s [Gilbert] talk show and they did a little sketch. It got a lot of attention. Sara called me and said, ‘Would you want to do a reunion show and I said, ‘Yeah, definitely.’ I said, ‘What about John?’ She goes, ‘Oh, John’s in.’ I said, ‘Well of course then I’m in.'”
Barr added, “Everybody was in and so then it went from a special to a series and we had a deal in three weeks.”
Gilbert said she did not think that a revival of the cult classic would ever happen.
“For some reason I thought I read something years ago that Roseanne said she didn’t want to touch the original so I had assumed for all these years there was no way to do it,” Gilbert said. “When John did the [talk] show and he said he would do it in a heartbeat, it just made me reconsider. I just sort of had to go down the line and tell everybody maybe what they wanted to hear.”
The original ABC TV series ran from 1988 to 1997. In the final episode, Roseanne reveals that Dan had died.
“I can’t say [what happened] but somehow he’s still alive,” Goodman joked. “I wanted to go for the whole zombie thing. That’s an idea for the writer.”
Not only does Dan make a return, but both Goranson and Chalke, who played Becky Conner, will appear on the show at once.
“It was pretty fun working together I got to say,” Goranson said. “Our energy together was very girly and it was just kind of funny to see the traits that we have in common and our differences and all that stuff. I think the fans will have a good time with it, I’m hoping.”
In the reboot, Goodman said the Conners will face tougher issues such as the presidential election.
“The first episode deals with the election and two different voices, two different opinions on it,” he explained. “It’s between the sisters. I keep my yap shut. I’m out in the garage drinking.”
Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf, who is reprising her role as Aunt Jackie, agreed that stepping back on the set was like a time warp.
“It’s like we were a family for nine straight seasons and worked everyday together and made that bond and then to revisit it after these 20 years have passed, you can’t buy that kind of chemistry,” she said.
“It’s so fascinating to watch the kids who are grown now have a scene in the kitchen where they did grow up in that same kitchen and now they’re also parenting their own kids…and Roseanne is hovering off to the side watching them do it and criticizing the mistakes that they’re making,” she added. “It has so many more layers now because of the true history.”
Michael Fishman, who played D.J., the youngest Conner kid, said he was just 6 years old when he landed the role.
“I think the biggest thing from the show and I think fans agree is learning how to deal with tough times with humor,” Fishman said. “Trying to find the humor in things and sticking together, that’s what I think the core of the show is.”
“Roseanne” returns March 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC50.