What the 'Roseanne' spinoff could look like without Roseanne Barr

Much of the cast of "Roseanne," including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman, are set to reprise their iconic roles in the new show.
6:05 | 06/23/18

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Transcript for What the 'Roseanne' spinoff could look like without Roseanne Barr
Reporter: Imagine "The Roseanne show" minus Roseanne. That's the elevator pitch for the new show "The Conners" announced this week. Same cast, same couch, one big empty seat at the table. Roseanne's downfall was sudden and shocking. Ladies and gentlemen -- Roseanne! Reporter: A month ago the network celebrated her as the star of its annual "Up front" presentation. The hottest new show on television averaging over 18 million viewers a night. Then, just two weeks ter, that infamous tweet comparing a former Obama aide to an ape. ABC's number one show tanked by a 3:00 A.M. Tweet. Roseanne apologized but the Dama was done. That one tweet cost hundreds of her coworkers their jobs and left the network with a gaping hole in the fall lineup. Roseanne Barr was not just the star of the original show, and the reboot. She was its cocreator and executive producer. Normally she'd be entitled to a share in the profits of any future spinoffs, whether or not she appears on camera. But according to ABC, Roseanne won't benefit financially from "The Conners." Network executives insist she'll have no financial or creative involvement in the new series whatsoever. Roseanne issued the following statement about the spinoff. I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved. This is sort of uncharted territory. We're really not sure what to expect just yet. We can speculate up and down. But the producers are being very quiet inerms of how they're actually going to address the big elephant in the room, what do you do without Roseanne? Reporter: The show must go on. But it's a gamble. "All in the family" without Archie bunker? Oh, that would be the day. Reporter: "M.A.R.H." Witut haeye? It doesn't work. Turns out you can swap out members of an ensemble cast. "E.R." Survived after George Clooney went on to bigger and better things. And without Steve carell managing "The office." "Two and a half men" without Charlie sheen. Ashton curber kept going. But replacing the biggest star is harder. "House of cards" continued for one more season after Kevin spacey was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct. And "Transparent" will disappear, filming its fifth and final season, after controversial star Jeffrey tambor was fired. ABC is banking on the idea that those huge ratings had more to do with thensemble than with th sharp-tongued matriarch of the conner clan. Relatable, real people, the rare TV family who are not one percenters. We spoke with actor Michael Fishman before "Roseanne" was canceled. What I hear from fans through social media is that they feel okay struggling that they like that they see us struggle, they can relate to that. Black people are jus like us -- Reporter: But mining those characters for dramatic effect, exploring their struggles with real-life issues. I don't want to dis-gina. Tough, you're doing it. I hate you. Fine, you don't have to kiss me. Reporter: D.J. Hesitates to kiss a black girl in a school play. In the root we find out he ended up marrying her. Th are a biracial child. In the new show, still plenty of room to explore that storyline. Even without Roseanne's running commentary. We have so many powerful voices that we really do a good job of trying to play all sides and have real conversations that you'd see in your own kitchen or living room. Let's say grace. Jackie, would you like to take a knee? Reporter: Roseanne's character was the one member of the conner family known to have voted for trump. Thank you for making America great again. Reporter: Will the show still appeal to those viewers who have been feeling overlooked by work TV? This is what half of America lives like. And looks like. And if we had lost that show, we would have lost a slice of camera that you simply can't get anyplace else. I don't think the appeal was simply because Roseanne seemed to be a trump voter or supporter. I think the appeal was much broader and more representative of a segment of society that simply isn't listened to or isn't respected by either the mainstream media or popular culture. Reporter: According to the screen actors guild, the stars uld have to be paid for at least seven episodes, even if none were produced. That's a multi-million dollar severance. Now ABC will have something to show for all that money. The only thing they'll say in their announcement is the conner family is adjusting to life after a big, major life event. We can readetween the lines and realize that life event involves the disappearance of Roseanne. Roseanne conner. So the question is, what happens to her? Reporter: One big question? How will the new show explain Roseanne's departure? I really don't feel so good. Reporter: The writers have some experience there. The original show killed off John Goodman's character. Dan! Reporter: Still, he was able to come back for the reboot. They just glossed it over, made a joke out of it. I thought you were dead! I'm sleeping! The big question is going to be, do they kill off roanne's character? All signs honestly point to yes. How else do you explain her disappearance? World trip for a year? Taken a job in another town? Reporter: In this case, ABC and the cost of "The Conners" may end having the last laugh. One thing we do know is, it won't be the laugh we all remember. I'm David Wright for "Nightline"

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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