By Lynette Rice
August 06, 2017 at 01:42 PM EDT

Welcome back to life, Dan Conner!

Though he met his maker in the 1997 series finale, John Goodman’s character will be present when the show returns on ABC this season. Production is expected to begin in October for the show’s mid-season berth.

“I don’t want to talk too specifically, but I wouldn’t say we’ll ignore the events of the finale,” ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey told reporters Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Dan is definitely still alive.”

In fact, Goodman did appear on stage at ABC’s May upfront with Roseanne Barr and costars Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, and Lecy Goranson.

Roseanne originally ended its ABC run with Dan having a fatal heart attack.

Everett Collection; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

It’s certainly not unprecedented for Roseanne to ignore how it wrapped the action in the series ender. The writers of Will & Grace told EW that it will ignore how the NBC series ended by giving the lead characters spouses and kids. The show will return with Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) still living together in their New York City apartment.

In other casting news, Dungey said they remain in talks with The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki about reprising his role as David Healy. As for the brand of comedy, Dungey promised the show will “very much tonally be similar to the original” in that it will be “unflinching, honest and irreverent at times. Very topical.”

Though the show won’t specifically address the current administration, there are topical issues that Roseanne will tackle, she added, like “how difficult it is to get medical insurance.”


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