In an interview with U.K. newspaper The Times, Goodman, 66, opened up about the new iteration of the series, announced after ABC abruptly axed the Roseanne reboot after Barr likened former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an “ape” on Twitter.
Of reprising his role as drywall contractor Dan Conner, Goodman said: “I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead,” suggesting that Barr’s character will be killed off.
After the controversy, Barr ultimately agreed to walk away from the show to make room for the Conners spinoff series, which will focus on Sara Gilbert‘s Darlene Conner and see the return of Goodman, Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (D.J.)
Thus far, the network hasn’t revealed the fate of Barr’s character, simply announcing a 10-episode, straight to series order that will follow “the Conner family who, after a sudden turn of events, are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.”
The synopsis continued, “This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.”
Ironically, Goodman’s character died during the show’s original run, a fact that the writers poked fun at in the reboot.
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In the interview, Goodman also admitted he was “surprised” by the network’s reaction to Barr’s tweet, which president of ABC Entertainment Channing Dungey called “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”
“I’ll put it this way, I was surprised at the response,” he said. After a pause, according to The Times, he said, “And that’s probably all I should say about it.”
After another pause, he added: “I know, I know, for a fact that she’s not a racist.”
Barr, 65, who deleted her original tweet, has since offered several defenses for her choice of words, including insisting she was misunderstood, under the influence of Ambien, and didn’t know Jarrett is black.
Regardless, Goodman said he was “broken-hearted” and “very depressed” by the show’s cancellation and expressed his gratitude that Barr stepped aside to make room for the spinoff.
“She had to sign a paper saying that she relinquished all her rights to the show so that we could go on. I sent her an email and thanked her for that,” he said. “I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she’s still going through hell.”
Barr later thanked her former costar on Twitter, writing: “I thank John Goodman for speaking truth about me, despite facing certain peril from producers and network.”