Executive producer of "The Conners" Bruce Helford explains why he killed Roseanne with opioid addiction

adminOctober 17, 2018

As a former star of "Roseanne" Roseanne Barr let slip Last month, the premiere of the series "The Conners" on Tuesday revealed that Barr's character died of an opioid addiction. The show made its debut after a series of dramatic revolutions last spring: the first Barr was fired after she wrote a racist tweet, then the restart of "Roseanne" was cancelledbut finally, after Barr agreed to forego any creative or financial ties, ABC regained the cast, without Barr, for a while. new show called "The Conners".

Now, executive runner Bruce Helford is explaining why he and his team chose to kill Barr's character the way they did.

Helford, who has been working with Barr since the original "Roseanne" series in the 1990s, said: "I wanted a respectful farewell." He told The Hollywood Reporter that killing the character with a heart attack would have been "cowardly." He said that when the program was canceled, he felt that he and his team and the cast still wanted to continue the story of the family for their audience.

He said: "We had the feeling that there would be a second half, we had the infrastructure, a cast without previous commitments, a production team and a team that worked together with precision, 10 previous seasons of background stories and the most difficult of all" . to find in the land of 5,000 channels and & # 39; Fortnite & # 39 ;: a dedicated, loyal and passionate audience. "Helford said that only a few weeks after the cancellation, ABC gave him the green light to go ahead with a restart without Barr.

Helford explained that he and his staff did not want any plot that was "outlandish, anything that would make the Conners' fierce matriarch look pathetic or degraded," and instead wanted a closure that "did not overshadow" the rest of Them. Conners He continued: "I also wanted a respectful farewell to her: one that was relevant and could inspire discussion for the greater good of the American working class, whose real problems are often ignored by open television."

He also said that he wanted to be respectful not only with the character of Barr, but also with the actress. He said: "Roseanne helped launch my career."

The showrunner said that when "The Conners" filmed the first scene, he was worried, but soon, "Laurie Metcalf laughed over the stews, and you could feel the audience relax." The response was incredible for the rest of the audience. night, going from the dramatic moments of holding your breath to the big, explosive, cathartic laughter … As a writer, you can not ask for more … So in episode one, we mourned the loss of our matriarch, she deserved it. "

The first episode of "The Conners" took place three weeks after Roseanne's funeral. Her family learns that she became secretly addicted to painkillers while recovering from an operation, and died of an accidental opioid overdose. Roseanne's addiction to painkillers came to light in the penultimate episode of the resumption of "Roseanne."

Barr did not take the premiere episode well, and launched a joint statement with his friend and mentor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who said: "While we wish the best for the cast and crew of & # 39; The Conners & # 39; all of whom are deeply devoted to their craft and were the dear colleagues of Roseanne, we regret that ABC has chosen to cancel & # 39; Roseanne & # 39; killing the character of Roseanne Conner. She also tweeted on Tuesday night, "I'M NOT DEAD, B *** HES !!!!"

Barr said in September that his character would be killed with an addiction to opioids. "It was not enough to [fire me], they had to insult so cruelly the people who loved that family and the program, "he complained. There's nothing I can do about it. It's done. It's over. There is no fight. "

In August, "Conners" star John Goodman said he believed Roseanne's character would be dead in the split. He assumed that his character, Dan Conner, Roseanne's husband, would be "depressed and sad" over the death of his wife.

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