Aug. 31 (UPI) — Production has begun in Burbank, Calif., on Roseanne spinoff The Conners, ABC announced Friday.
The network released a cast photo showing Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Jayden Rey (Mary), Michael Fishman (DJ), Ames McNamara (Mark), John Goodman (Dan,) Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Emma Kenney (Harris), sitting around the kitchen table on the studio set meant to be the titular family’s Illinois home, and practicing their lines.
Missing from the group shot is matriarch Roseanne, who was cut from the show after her portrayer — comedian Roseanne Barr — was fired after making a racist comment about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama.
The network has not announced how Roseanne’s absence will be explained other than to say, “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.”
Roseanne initially ran 1988-97 and remained popular in re-runs. It earned high ratings when it returned last spring with new episodes and was renewed for an 11th season, which was swiftly canceled after star Barr’s racist comment on Twitter
Barr has since repeatedly apologized for what she has called a joke, but she was widely condemned for the remark.
ABC announced in June it was moving forward with a new version of the show without Barr. It is to debut Oct. 16.