John Goodman Spills on ‘Weird’ First Week of ‘The Conners’ Without Roseanne Barr: ‘We Really Missed Her’


Co-star and executive producer Sara Gilbert says Barr’s departure opened up a new avenue of storytelling to explore.

John Goodman has been slowly but surely making his feelings about losing co-star Roseanne Barr very clear.

While appearing on “Good Morning America” Tuesday ahead of tonight’s series premiere of “Roseanne” spinoff series “The Conners,” he told Michael Strahan the first week back on set without his TV wife was “really weird.”

“It was like there was a death in the family and we really missed her a whole lot,” he said next to Sara Gilbert, the actress who plays his TV daughter and executive produces the show. “There’s a lot missing, but we just tried our best to fill in.”

Strahan asked straight up how they wrote Barr’s character out of the series and Gilbert joked she’ll tell him tonight at 8 p.m. when “The Conners” airs.

On a more serious note, Gilbert said the departure of Roseanne gave the writers a chance to explore a new avenue of storytelling that viewers should be able to relate to.

“It was emotional moving forward, but then I think what it allowed us to do is almost every person at some point of there life redefines there family without the matriarch,” she said. “And so it gave us a chance to look at how does it affect the family … and to try to do it in an honest way.”

Previously, Goodman said he struggled with Barr’s departure for “about a month,” and compared it to the feeling of “a plastic bag that is closing in.”

“I was consciously trying to accept it,” Goodman said of the period right after the show’s cancellation. “Just like, ‘Okay, this is happening, just breathe and go with it.’ Underneath I’m trying to get out of a plastic bag that is closing in on me, but I’m trying to be calm on the surface. I remember that contradiction.”

“And then other things started going wrong,” he said. “I fell down the steps and broke a rib. My wife got sick — just all kinds of weird stuff happened at one time. But I just had a feeling that it would work out.”

“The Conners” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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