The Spinoff Zone
I had an internal debate about writing this blog. I tend to steer clear of topics that are controversial, but I thought I’d dip my toes into the Roseanne debate. And I’m barely doing that… I’m not going to offer an opinion on her firing. But I will say this about the future of the show on ABC.
Network executives and writers: Please don’t kill Roseanne Conner. When I heard last week that ABC was going to create a spinoff of Roseanne called The Connor Family, my first thought was, how are they going to write the main star out? I remember in 1986 when Valerie Harper had a show on NBC called Valerie. She had a contract dispute after the first season and ended up getting fired from the sitcom. Despite it bearing her name, the network moved forward, replacing the title character and the show’s title with The Hogan Family. Aunt Sandy (played by Sandy Duncan) moved in after Valerie Hogan died off-screen. I get that it’s a different circumstance, my point is usually when a TV character is killed off, they’re gone from the show forever (but not always).
I think killing Roseanne Conner destroys any chance that she’ll ever return to the show. I know that’s probably the point and something many one-time fans would like to see. But I view nearly every situation in life as fixable and don’t necessarily believe the punishment fits the crime in most of the cases of an entertainer being offensive. I believe people can and do change. I also believe in second (or even third or fourth chances). I can separate the art from the artist. Of course like everything in life there are exceptions to this rule.
I also realize 20+ years ago the writers on Roseanne killed off Dan Conner in the wrap up of the series finale. They made a brief mention of his ‘demise’ on the season opener of the reboot. I hope The Conner Family does well in the ratings and returns for several seasons. I also hope that those who have been offended and/or hurt by Roseanne’s comments on Twitter are able to forgive her and move forward. I also hope that if my words have offended you, you will contact me directly and we can talk about it rather than insisting I lose my job as a result.
Both sides seem to be loaded and ready to call for swift and permament action against the other. Let’s all take a minute and recognize everyone has an opinion and if even we don’t agree with it, it’s their opinion. I know this paragraph will do nothing to change minds, but I feel like if people at least see it, they’ll think twice before becoming unglued with the next celebrity snafu.
I’ll tie it all in with pro wrestling, my real passion project. Time and time again we’ve seen Vince McMahon, chairman of WWE, welcome back men and women who have sued him, talked sh!t about him and even threatened physical harm against him. There are different factors in play here, but I think if we all take a moment to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, we might not be so damning to each other. Just something to think about.
I'm a former TV news guy turned marketing manager. I like to blog, podcast and watch pro wrestling.