The Conners” premiered on Tuesday night on ABC in the US and an outspoken Roseanne Barr has already been killed off in that first episode via an accidental overdose of an opioid medication. Barr has already made it known that she is not happy about her exit from the show, and how quickly it was handled. The show is a spin-off series created after the reboot of “Roseanne” was cancelled.

As reported by Reuters, all members of the well-known family were featured in the show, with the major exception of Roseanne herself, the original star and creator of “Roseanne.” This follows the cancellation of a reboot of her original show after Barr sent a racist tweet, comparing former black Obama administration member Valerie Jarrett to an ape.

‘The Conners’ – ‘Roseanne’ without Barr

The spin-off show aired on ABC in the US for the first time on Tuesday, so UK viewers can expect minor spoilers in this article. In the last episode of “Roseanne,” Barr’s character was hiding an addiction to opioids which she was taking for knee pain requiring a delayed and costly surgery. In the first episode of “The Conners,” her character has already left the show. Barr criticised the method of her exit saying it added an unnecessary morbid and grim overtone to what was otherwise a happy family show.

The initial episode of “The Conners” shows the family in mourning and struggling to come to terms with Roseanne’s death from what was initially believed to be a heart attack, but turns out to be from an opioid overdose.

The Conner family discover painkillers that Roseanne has concealed throughout the house that she had obtained from friends who were sharing the medication to cut costs.

Realistic and topical family in ‘Roseanne’ and ‘The Conners’

Roseanne” originally ran from 1988 to 1997 and was praised for the realistic portrayal of a blue-collar family.

When the show was revived in March this year, Barr's character appears as a strong Donald Trump supporter, a fact that is true to her actual life. The reboot on ABC was so popular, it drew on average 18 million viewers for each episode.

However, that all changed after Barr sent the tweet about Valerie Jarrett, part of the Obama administration, comparing her to an ape.

While Roseanne apologized in interviews and on Twitter, saying her message had been political and not in any way racist, the furor following the tweet led ABC to cancel the show and Barr agreed to step away.

While Barr is upset about the way her character was taken out of the spin-off, “The Connors,” the show continues to be realistic and topical as the US currently has an opioid crisis on its hands, with people addicted to, and often overdosing on, prescription opioid painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 49,000 people died in the US last year due to opioids.

The Guardian quotes Bruce Rasmussen, the executive producer of “The Connors” as saying in an interview with Variety that they had thought long and hard about how to write Roseanne’s character out of the show.

He said that many fans care for the characters in the show, despite Barr’s political views and the offending tweet. He said they didn’t want to be “flip” about her removal from the show.

The following teaser trailer for "The Conners" was released on YouTube on 3 October and the family appears to be coping well.