Good news, fans of all the things about Roseanne that weren’t, well, Roseanne: ABC has moved ever so slightly closer to separating the racist-tweeting goose from the golden egg she laid, as THR reports that the network has apparently scored a tentative (and unofficial) agreement from Roseanne Barr to waive all future financial and creative control over the long-running, recently revived sitcom. The series was the network’s biggest hit of the last year, at least until Barr’s Twitter behavior—and specifically, a comment comparing former Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to an “ape”—caused ABC to cut its losses and pull the plug.
Ever since, the network has been quietly working to come up with a plan to get the rest of the non-Roseanne elements of the show’s beloved cast—many of whom it owes large sums of money to, whether the series moves forward or not—into a show of their own. Amazingly, Barr—who’s been (mostly) publicly apologetic to her castmates for what she seems to see as her limited part in getting the show shitcanned—is apparently on board to give up her rights to the characters, allowing a possible series centered on Sara Gilbert’s character, Darlene, to potentially move forward.
As ever with this story, though, there are plenty of caveats to give the optimistic pause. For one thing, Barr’s almost certainly going to expect some sort of buyout for her willingness to let bygones be bygones, which seems somewhat counter to ABC’s stated intention to ensure that she no longer profits financially from the series. But the trickier element here will be Barr’s temperament: This whole idea relies on the comedian’s willingness to play nice until there’s ink on paper, which seems... unlikely given past behavior. It puts us in mind of the old parable of the frog and scorpion, except in this case, after the scorpion stings the frog halfway through swimming them both across a river, he follows it up by also asking it to co-sign on a car loan. It’s just not a good credit risk, frog! Scorpions can’t even drive!