One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest New York 2018. This evening celebrates "The Conners," the comedy series spun off from "Roseanne" and focusing on a multi-generational working-class Illinois family and their attempts to reorient their lives after a personal loss.

Host Rebecca Paller (curator, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks and introduces the series premiere, "Keep On Truckin'", screened live as it airs on national television. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 134590.) After the screening, Julie Jordan (senior West Coast writer, People magazine) moderates the following panelists: executive producer Tom Werner; and cast members Maya Lynne Robinson (Geena Williams-Conner), Michael Fishman (D.J. Conner), Lecy Goranson (Becky Conner-Healy), Sara Gilbert (Darlene Conner), and John Goodman (Dan Conner).

The panelists touch on such topics as: channeling the cast's honest emotions in telling the story of the loss of a family matriarch; Robinson's joy in joining the series, having grown up watching the original "Roseanne"; the actors' "heartbroken and devastated" reaction to learning that "Roseanne," having concluded in 1997 and been revived in 2018, had been cancelled again because of lead actor Roseanne Barr's racist and offensive behavior; their sense of relief and joy at reuniting for a new series (without Barr) and wanting to respect the original show's "legacy" for the fans' sake; Gilbert's praise for the writers' ability to "find the humor and heart" in many topics; the writers' decision to "shine a light" on America's serious opioid crisis and healthcare problems by having Roseanne's character die via accidental overdose after her knee surgery; Goodman's interest in finding the small details of Dan's "blind rage" over his wife's death; Gilbert's emotional reactions to her sad scene with her frazzled Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf); their sense of pride in presenting the "unique world" of the Conners family, including their opposing views on important topics; their gratitude in "getting another chance" to continue the Conners' unfinished story; Goodman's enjoyment in interacting with the show's new child actors, including "the happy Conner" Ames McNamara, who plays Darlene's son Mark; why the revival felt largely "audience-directed"; Robinson's interest in exploring Geena's relationships with other characters; Fishman's sense of duty in portraying an active-duty military service person in an interracial marriage; Gilbert's hopes for Darlene's love life; the show's messages about learning from one's mistakes; Goranson's inspiration from the Fred Rogers documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" (2018) in pursuing vulnerability and gratitude; Goodman and Gilbert's willingness to accept change and "embracing not knowing" what the future holds; and Werner's praise for the show's strong ensemble cast and their commitment to continuing the show's stories.


  • DATE: 7:55 PM
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 134576
  • GENRE: Seminars


  • Rebecca Paller … Host
  • Julie Jordan … Moderator
  • Maya Lynne Robinson … Panelist
  • Michael Fishman … Panelist
  • Lecy Goranson … Panelist
  • John Goodman … Panelist
  • Sara Gilbert … Panelist
  • Tom Werner … Panelist
  • Roseanne Barr
  • Ames McNamara
  • Laurie Metcalf
  • Fred Rogers
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