Five months after Roseanne Barr's racist tweet caused the demise of her hit show, Roseanne, the sitcom's less controversial stars are moving on — both in their personal lives and onscreen.
Speaking of ABC's decision to kill the show and start a reboot, following the actress' scandal, John Goodman told PEOPLE, "that was a very big deal." He added that it was great the network chose to give the rest of the cast "a chance" after their sudden firing.
Now, Goodman, 66, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and various others have come together to debut The Conners, the failed series' spinoff.
"There was the feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready," Goodman said of the cast's reluctance to leave the show for good. "There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We'll figure out how to get through this, the family will, everybody will. We want to finish telling this story."
He said that the actors, him included, were all so "thankful" to be back on Roseanne after its 20-year break that when they jumped at the chance to act on The Conners despite the controversy surrounding Barr, 65.
"It just didn't seem true. Then it got true," Goodman said, remembering the moment he learned of Barr's tweet. "I was consciously trying to accept it. Just like, 'Okay, this is happening, just breathe and go with it.' Underneath I'm trying to get out of a plastic bag that is closing in on me, but I'm trying to be calm on the surface. I remember that contradiction."
Gilbert, 43, had a similar reaction to the Twitter chaos.
"I don't remember too much," she told the magazine. "It was more just, 'Okay, what are we dealing with today?' I was just kind of taking things one step at a time as they came."
While Goodman tried to remain hopeful that they would somehow "resurrect" the show, Metcalf, 63, and Gilbert were not so sure.
"I saw it on the news, actually. And I thought, 'Oh, I wonder if we still have a show.' Because of how heavy everything became."
"I was trying to reconcile myself to the show being gone, said Metcalf. "because I wasn't in the loop of any other possibility except it being gone. So I was trying to be resigned to that. And you know, coming off such a high, it was hard to wrap our heads around."
Radar readers know Barr went on many heated Twitter rants following her firing, even bashing some of her former costars — except Goodman — for allegedly betraying her.
Eventually, however, she accepted her fate and made peace with the fact that she was not invited to be part of her show reboot, The Conners.
Now, Goodman, Gilbert and Metcalf are excited to be creating their own story with the series.
"There was a lot of risk involves," said Metcalf of their decision to do a spinoff. "But we all decided as a group to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back."
"Supporting each other — that's a very strong feeling among us," said Goodman. "We're leaning on each other when we do this show. It's different, but we can create something new form it. Let us finish the story on our own terms. Come along with us and see how we do."
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