When Roseanne came to a close in 1997, it pulled a lot of rugs out from under its audience: The final season, in which the Conners struck it rich, was all an invention of the eponymous character’s writing, as were many of the arcs, character traits, and relationships that viewers had taken for granted over the course of nine seasons. The most gutting of those reversals: Dan Conner (John Goodman) had died of the heart attack he’d suffered at the end of the previous season. The events of that finale only became murkier when ABC announced its upcoming Roseanne revival, the cast list for which included John Goodman.
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey provided some clarity when she met with the Television Critics Association this morning, confirming that when Roseanne comes back in 2018, so will Dan. “I’m not going to talk too specifically about the season,” Dungey said. “I wouldn’t say that it will ignore the events of the series finale, but I can confirm that Dan is alive.” Such retconning is becoming a trend in high-profile sitcom redux, with the creators of Will & Grace recently revealing that their show’s upcoming ninth season will wave away some elements of their season finale.
As for another returning player whose future in the Roseanne universe whose fate is uncertain, Dungey stated that Johnny Galecki is in talks to reprise his role as Roseanne and Dan’s ward-turned-son-in-law David. And if those talks break down, the writers can always just stick in a joke about how David got really into experimental physics and moved to Pasadena, where his passion for the sequential arts is shared by a likeminded peer group of fellow scientists.