Barr's statement refers to a "settlement," but the network says she will have no financial involvement in the new show. On June 16, Goldberg reported:
Barr had agreed in principle to walk away from the characters she helped create in order to allow the cast and crew to pursue a spinoff. But since Barr would be entitled to substantial fees and backend on a Roseanne spinoff, the actress had to waive those rights before a new take could move forward. The last key hurdle was over what, if any, one-time payment Barr was to receive as "go-away money," as one source put it. Barr will retain an executive producer credit on the new take, per WGA rules.
If Barr received "go-away money" to make it possible, then she's arguably profiting from the Conners "spin-off," as ABC is calling the starless vehicle. And she still makes money from the old seasons, which are more valuable the longer all of this is in the spotlight. What's more, if she retains the rights to the character for any future uses (including bringing Roseanne Conner somewhere else), then this is all enormously helpful to her prospects, compared with, say, putting the entire show in a great big bag, setting it on fire and throwing it into a ravine.
The bottom line is that Barr is likely to be worse off, certainly, than she would have been if the show had continued with her, but better off than if this new spinoff weren't happening at all.
Moreover, this development allows the network, the other actors and everyone else who stands to profit to avoid reckoning with the choice they originally made. They chose to align themselves with Barr and place their faith in her, despite the fact that nothing about her Jarrett tweet was unexpected, given her history. There is something to be said for expecting people who gamble with a situation like this to swallow their losses. It's not, after all, the responsibility of viewers (or critics) to insure networks or actors against the foreseeable consequences of their actions.
Certainly, there are good stories to be mined from working-class people, as we know from One Day At A Time, Superstore, Bob's Burgers and other currently airing shows. But it's possible to create those stories on sets that don't bear this particular legacy. Shows are canceled all the time, including shows that are much better and more interesting than the Roseanne reboot was.
There was a short-lived comedy called Enlisted, about a group of brothers in the U.S. Army, that aired on Fox in 2014. Despite being excellent, funny, well-regarded and devoted to telling stories about people who are underrepresented on mainstream network TV, it was canceled. Back in the day, the wonderful Freaks and Geeks was canceled, even though it starred Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, Martin Starr — even though it was the product of the minds of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig. Cancellations happen. The list of shows that failed for whatever reason or combination of reasons is lengthy, but this is how TV works. Old shows go, and new shows arrive. In fact, old shows must go for new shows to arrive. And every year, shows with enormous potential aren't picked up, because there just isn't very much room on a broadcast schedule. Letting this go wouldn't have been one less show, just one other show.
"But," you say, "you fool, you know that networks make decisions for financial reasons. That's the business!"
Yes. Exactly. That's the business — where every time you hear that a decision is being made on principle, you should wait for the asterisk.