From Academic Kids

Roseanne was an American sitcom which aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997, starring the stand-up comedian Roseanne Barr.

The show portrayed a working class family living in fictional Lanford, Illinois and struggling to get by on a limited income. For many years, Roseanne was, in contrast to many of the most popular shows at the time (such as The Cosby Show) honest in its depiction of family life, and tackled subjects of poverty, alcoholism, sex, and homosexuality in ways unlike other shows. Another theme of the show was Roseanne's dominance in raising the children, with her husband, Dan feeling that he doesn't have a voice in what happens in the family, and is not well informed of what happens in his household. The show was hugely successful from its beginning and inspired a rash of stand-ups getting their own sitcom deals (a practice that continued for years afterwards), but over time the series began to be known more for the public and backstage scandals of Barr (there was constant turnover of writers and producers through the course of the series, including her second husband, Tom Arnold) and drifted away from the original source, and by the mid-90's, the show dropped sharply in the ratings.

One of the most documented moments of the series occurred in the 6th season when Lecy Goranson (Becky) left the series. Instead of writing Becky out, the producers recast her with Sarah Chalke, and wary of the potential backlash to reshaping a longtime role, chose to defuse the criticism. At the end of Chalke's first episode, the Conner family watched a Bewitched episode and several characters complained about the recast of Darren Stevens. Chalke smiled and said she'd always liked the second Darren best. Gorenson returned to the role several years later only to leave again and to be replaced by Chalke. The final season's opening credits (a morph of cast photos over the years) alternated shots of both women for Becky.



Conner Family

Extended Family

Other recurring characters

Final Season

The final season marked a complete departure from the rest of the series as the Conner family won the lottery and lived the high life they could only previously dream of. The last episode ended on a fitting note as a 15-minute closing monologue by Roseanne revealed that after she was given a writing room the entire series was merely a fictional story written by the character of Roseanne Conner and based on her family life and experiences. She also revealed that whatever she hadn't liked about her real life, she'd changed in the story. Roseanne Conner then began a writing career.

Storyline of the series Roseanne Conner's "real life"
Dan Conner survived his heart attack Dan Conner died after his heart attack at Darlene's wedding
Darlene married David Darlene married Mark
Becky married Mark Becky married David
Roseanne's mother, Bev, was a lesbian Roseanne's sister, Jackie, was a lesbian
The Conner family won the lottery The Conner family did not win the lottery

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