Why The Conners Chose to Shine a Light on the Opioid Crisis by Having Roseanne Fatally Overdose

The Conners made its official television debut on Tuesday without the franchise’s former star Roseanne Barr, but executive producer Tom Werner had no regrets about the decision to have her character die from an opiate overdose.

During a panel, also on Tuesday night, at The Paley Center for Media in New York City moderated by PEOPLE’s Julie Jordan, Werner explained that the storyline felt natural and “authentic” to the show’s audience.

“I think it was important that we all be respectful of...


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