This story contains significant details from Tuesday’s premiere of ABC’s “The Conners.”
R.I.P., Roseanne Conner.
Viewers learned the TV matriarch had died in Tuesday’s premiere of “The Conners,” the spinoff sitcom that replaced “Roseanne” after a racist May tweet by star Roseanne Barr led to her firing and the top-rated sitcom’s cancellation.
There had been much speculation that death would be the only way for a new series about the working-class Conners to explain the permanent absence of the person at the center of the family.
John Goodman, who plays Roseanne’s husband, Dan, let slip that Roseanne dies in a summer interview with a British news outlet, but ABC, producers and stars had been mum about the character’s fate.
Later in Tuesday’s episode, to the surprise of Conners, it was revealed that opioid drug use played a role in the death of Roseanne. Family members had thought her heart was the cause, but Roseanne also had a problem with painkillers last season stemming from knee pain.
Dan found a way to pay for her knee surgery and said he threw out all of her drugs — or so he thought. A search of the house by Roseanne’s sister, Jackie, and daughter, Darlene, revealed a secret cache of pills.
Roseanne’s sister, Jackie, broke the news: “I just got a call from a friend in the coroner’s office. The autopsy found that it wasn’t a heart attack. Roseanne OD’d on opioids.”
Dan was shocked. “That’s not possible. We knew she had a problem. She was only on pain pills for two days after surgery. And then it was just ibuprofen. It’s got to be wrong.”
Jackie: “Well, I wish it was but they think she must’ve taken the pills right before bed, and with her health issues was enough to stop her breathing.”
A search of the house found secret stashes of pills, including one for another person in the medicine cabinet. Dan later confronted that neighbor (guest star Mary Steenburgen), leading to an argument about the sharing of drugs and discussion about the cost of prescriptions.
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