Update: A social media comment noted that this could also open the door for ABC to sell the rights to the show to another studio. That would jibe with them ordering a single additional episode to conclude it with Roseanne’s character coming back.
It’s a crazy world. In this crazy world is Hollywood, which is a crazier world unto itself. Stranger things have happened than a studio reversing a decision and bringing back a character they’d previously fired for the sake of the good ol’ dollar.
As conspiracy theories go, this one is pretty mild. But the complete and total failure of The Conners and a subsequent ordering of a single additional episode give legs to this theory. It also presents a solution.
Ratings: “The Conners” Beaten By Everything, Drops in Total Viewers and Demo as ABC Orders Only 1 More Episode
But the key demo sank, which isn’t a good sign. And the total viewers were down by 180K, which is a lot, frankly. People are leaving and they’re not coming back.
ABC has ordered 1 extra episode to the original order of 10. Sounds to me like a finale. Someone wakes up and says they dreamt Roseanne died. There’s a cackle from the next room. Fade to black.
It certainly sounds plausible that the studio may pull something like this. After all, they originally famously fooled us with the original series’ finale that revealed the final season was all fiction and that Dan, the family’s patriarch, had actually died. Then, he was revived for the series reboot.
If they brought back Dan, could they bring back Roseanne? Of course they could.
Reports already surfaced earlier this month that some at the studio regretted firing her in the first place.
“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation,” an ABC insider told The Daily Mail.
The ABC insider openly admits regretting not polling the general public before making a decision. The choice to cut Roseanne from the show occurred hours after her comments sparked backlash.
It’s conspicuous that they ordered a single additional episode. That is a good sign they’re planning on ending the show. But they could have easily ended it without ordering an additional show. Shows end without finishing the story all the time. Fans of Deadwood know what I mean.
The only feasible reason to order a single additional episode of a show that costs a ton to make (reportedly $350,000 per episode for John Goodman alone) is to end it in a way that opens the door… to a future revival of Roseanne. They did it with Dan. They can do the same thing with Roseanne’s character.
Would it be controversial? Of course. Her Tweet about Valerie Jarrett was terribly insensitive as Roseanne herself has admitted. But it would be extremely lucrative. The buzz alone would draw viewers to the first episode. If it delivers on the laughs and plays on the controversy, it could become a huge hit.
They’d need to do some PR work with her first. In fact, they could spin the PR work to actually help promote the show. Again, this is very doable.
The crazy world of Hollywood is hungry for hits. The Conners is not one. If they revive Roseanne’s character and make a few PR moves, they could actually have a bigger hit than they ever imagined possible. Controversy drives viewership, after all.