‘The Conners’ gets expanded second season at ABC: report

Continuing the story of the Conner family without its matriarch was a risky proposition, and, thankfully for ABC, it worked. Spinoff series “The Conners” has done well and, not surprisingly, ABC would like a second installment.

I hear negotiations are underway with the core cast for a 13-episode Season 2. That would be up from the 11 episodes in its current first season and the 9 for the lone season of the “Roseanne” revival. The cast of “The Conners” is led by “Roseanne” alums including Sara Gilbert, who also serves as an executive producer, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Lecy Goranson. As has been the case with the “Roseanne” revival and “The Conners” first season, there are issues with Metcalf and Goodman’s busy schedules that need to be worked out but I hear everyone is willing to return and talks are going smoothly.

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Goodman, Metcalf and Gilbert reportedly were paid $375,000 an episode for Season 1 of “The Conners,” up significantly from about $250,000 an episode each got for the new “Roseanne.” I hear the trio is expected to get another salary bump for Season 2 of “The Conners.” All parties involved declined comment,

Here is why pursuing a second season of “The Conners” has been a no-brainer for ABC. The blue collar family sitcom averages 10.2 million total viewers and a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating (most current). It is the season’s No. 1 new comedy in total viewers and 18-49 and ABC’s No. 1 comedy this season in total viewers and 18-49 (tied with “Modern Family”). It is also ABC’s most-watched series in Live+Same Day and is running neck and neck with “Grey’s Anatomy” in 18-49, which is important as broadcast networks put a premium of live viewing for the impact of commercials.

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“The Conners” aired its fall finale earlier this week, with the remaining episodes slated to return in January. It is unclear whether negotiations with the cast, reported about by TVLine earlier today, will be completed by then but I hear it’s possible.

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