More than two decades after Roseanne went off the air in 1997 after nine seasons on ABC, the series finale revealed that John Goodman’s character, Dan, had died of a heart attack. It was also discovered that Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) was a lesbian and that Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke) swapped significant others, while the entire ninth season story was dreamt up by Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr).
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey revealed Sunday at the summer Television Critics Association press tour that Goodman's character is very much alive.
"Dan is very much alive," Dungey confirmed, clarifying that the revival won’t necessarily be "ignoring the events of the finale." "I'm not going to talk too specifically [about the aftermath of the finale revelations]."
Joining Barr in the revival are Goodman, Gilbert, Metcalf, Goranson, Chalke (in another role) and Michael Fishman. Dungey revealed that negotiations with current Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki are “still in progress” for him to return in some capacity.
"We've now heard the broad strokes of the creative for these eight episodes. I'm confident it will return to the show we knew and loved," Dungey said, adding that the tone of the revival will be "tonally similar to the original show."
"It's unflinching. It's honest. It's irreverent at times and it's also really, really funny," she added.
Dungey also noted that while the Roseanne update will be "topical" in its episodes, she said that episodes will focus on everyday problems that face families today, such as health insurance and foreclosure.
Roseanne returns to ABC in 2018.