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It's clear that Roseanne Barr will not be a part of the "Roseanne" spinoff, but a huge mystery surrounds how the show's matriarch will be written off the show — until now.
John Goodman, who plays Dan Conner, offered some insight on the fate of his onscreen wife, played by Barr. In a profile published on U.K.'s Times Sunday, Goodman said his character will be "mopey and sad because his wife's dead."
ABC announced the network would move forward with an unlikely spinoff, "The Conners," after Barr's namesake show was abruptly cancelled following her racist tweet to former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett in May.
More from USA Today:
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey called the tweet "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."
Barr said her controversial tweet was misinterpreted and that she is not a racist, and Goodman agreed. "I know, for a fact that she's not a racist," he told the Times Sunday.
Goodman admitted he was "brokenhearted" and "surprised" at the show's cancellation, before dialing it back: "That's probably all I should say about it."
"Roseanne" returned to ABC in March, two decades after it ended its first run from 1988 to 1997. The original cast, including Barr, Goodman, Laurie Metcalf and Sara Gilbert, returned.
Nielsen data for the full 2017-18 TV season, out in June, showed that "Roseanne" was the No. 1 series, with a final average of 20 million viewers. But the revival's nine-episode first season was also its last.
In order for "The Conners" to get the green light from ABC, Barr had to sign over all her rights to the show, effectively ending her prime-time career.
"I sent her an email and thanked her for that," Goodman said. "I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she's still going through hell."
Aside from the email exchange, Goodman said he hasn't had further contact with Barr since "Roseanne" got the axe, referring to her only as a former "work friend."
The 10-episode spinoff will premiere this fall, in the same Tuesday at 8 EDT/PDT time slot that was the planned home for Season 2 of "Roseanne."
Dungey told USA TODAY that "The Conners" spinoff came together smoothly: "The actors were excited to be back," she said, adding that "Roseanne" writers and crew members remained largely intact.
On Roseanne Conner's fate on the show, the ABC Entertainment President is pleading the fifth: "We've taken a little page out of the Shonda and Marvel universes and are not talking about it. You'll just have to tune in on (Oct.) 16th."
—Contributing: Bill Keveney and Gary Levin