On set with the cast of 'The Conners'

The stars of the hit ABC show take us behind the scenes and discuss their pivotal first season.
6:11 | 01/08/19

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Transcript for On set with the cast of 'The Conners'
And here we are, the magic of television. In our classic kitchen -- Reporter: There's museum-quality nostalgia on the set of "The Conners." These may be the original pickled eggs but I think they've been in this cabinet for about 30 years. Reporter: It's like walking back in time. Here is our iconic living room. Reporter: Into television history. Of course here's our Afghan. It feels like my living room. Reporter: Lacy corenson knows every nook and cranny of this set. She's been playing Becky conner since she was a teen. The set dressers ask us for personal photos. And this was a photo of me and Sarah on our way to the people's choice awards. I don't know what kind of bizarre Madonna thing I'm rocking with the shoulder pads. Reporter: Sarah, of course, is Sara Gilbert, cast as Roseanne's daughter Darlene as a precocious child star. I had it in my nose all day! Reporter: Today she's the boss, serving as both actor and executive producer. I don't even think of myself as a boss. I just think of it like helping to organize and keep this thing going and try to help keep it on track. Reporter: Of course a lot has changed. Now the Conners are moving on after losing their matriarch, Roseanne. I don't want to leave this house. Because -- because -- I don't want to leave her. This family, like all families who go through this, are trying to survive and define their new roles. Deal with the loss in an honest way. We keep telling people we're grieving until we figure out how to feed ourselves. Reporter: John Goodman reviving his role as Dan, now a widower. In the scene where you put your arm over the empty pillow, it helps, I guess, the audience grieve when the whole show is about grief? To help me. This is a lot like widowhood for me. My main working partner, scene partner, pal, is not here. Reporter: But if their foul-mouthed and feisty mom taught them anything, it was to dust off and keep moving. Laughing inappropriately is what mom taught us to do. Reporter: The show staying true to its comedic core. Edgy, unfiltered, unafraid. Blue wave 2020! How does "The Conners" tackle politics? We're not talking about any specific politician or any specific platform. But just what is it like to be a working-class family in America, and what issues do you naturally deal with? Roseanne od'd on opioids. Reporter: Gone are the trump references. But the thorniest issues still front and center. I found these pills in mom's closet. Reporter: Even Roseanne's death a cautionary tale about opioid addiction. These aren't even prescribed to her. Dan's anger is impotence at not being -- there's nobody to be angry at. There are several things, but it's just too big. It's a blind rage. Reporter: Darlene's drama involves a marriage unraveling, forced to deal with her ex's new lover blue, played by Juliette Lewis. David told me you would probably be upset, come here. Don't touch me! I was so knocked out by how you're bringing to life again something from before, but it's timeless. Reporter: Lori Metcalf's aunt Jackie as discombobulated as ever. Do you feel like you're the new matriarch or half the new matriarchky in this family? I don't think Jackie is necessarily fit to step into anybody's shoes. Come on, she's a life coach now. Yeah, well. She says she has a job as a life coach, we've yet to see that. You have a new love interest seated next to you. Matthew Broderick guest stars. Why say yes? Suddenly I got a phone call. I think the next morning I was on a plane here. And I wanted to work with Lori. I think she's an absolutely wonderful actor. One of the greats. Reporter: All the actors get to dig into dramatic storylines. Goranson's character Becky coming to grips with her own cool. What was that scene like for you to play that out with her? People with alcoholismon't listen T advice and they have to, as they say, crash or bottom out on their own before they seek help. There's not much Dan could tell her about it. She's got to find her own way, unfortunately. Reporter: For Michael Fishman, who plays Becky's brother, it's a relationship that extends nearly 30 years, both on and off the set. Here we have my TV brother. You woke up like this? Yes, I woke up like this. Reporter: D.J. Has a family of his own now. What's the funnest part of the show? Maybe the last studio tapings. Reporter: Jaden plays Roseanne's granddaughter. Mya Lynn Robinson is his wife. When was the last time she was in church? It's funny the tricks time can play on you. Do you think it says a lot about how far we have come, that we've broken through the taboo and have this very mainstream, interracial marriage? I think it's important -- I think we have a lot farther to go. ?????? Reporter: This family has never shied away from tough conversations. No. Does it bother you that I do? No! Tell me about the scene you have with your grandpa where you basically come out to him. Yeah. He says what took you so long? Mark is still figuring things out. He's not someone who wants to be labeled or is going to label anyone else. Reporter: A classic ensemble show, the Conners showing how families can overcome loss and move forward.

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

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