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The Conners premieres tonight, otherwise known as Roseanne without Roseanne

Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf in The Conners
Photo: Eric McCandless (ABC)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, October 16. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

The Conners (ABC, 8 p.m.): Roseanne got revived, was a huge hit, and then got canceled (on May 29) after a completely unsurprising racist tweet from its eponymous lead. It was then essentially reincarnated (on June 21) as a “spin-off” that’s basically a Roseanne-free Roseanne. It’s been, in short, a humdinger of a road, and now it, whatever it is, has arrived. ABC has been treating The Conners like some heavy-duty, top-secret, Game Of Thrones type shit, so there’s very little that we know about how the series will deal with the exit of its onetime lead (though Roseanne Barr has said some shit that may or may not be true). Maybe they’re killing her off. Maybe she’s being abducted by aliens. Maybe they all got incepted. Maybe it’ll be good, and maybe it won’t. One thing is certain: Danette Chavez will drop in on tonight’s premiere to suss all of it out.


Regular coverage

The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.)
This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m.)
Black Lightning (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Wild card

The Rookie (ABC, 10 p.m.): Nathan Fillion must have had a pretty damn good time and/or made a lot of damn money on Castle, because The Rookie, premiering tonight, shares a whole bunch of DNA with its predecessor. Like Castle, it is a procedural; as with Castle, one of the writers and executive producers (here also the creator) is Alexi Hawley (Noah Hawley’s twin brother!). Most importantly, like Castle, it is trusting in the considerable charms of its leads—here, Fillion and Banshee’s Afton Williamson—to make up for any creakiness of format or style. We are pleased to confirm that the last item was a safe bet for The Rookie, because it is absolutely worth a look if you like procedurals, old guy jokes, or Nathan Fillion.


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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.