by Billy Nilles | Mon., Mar. 26, 2018 1:03 PM
When you ask fans of Roseanne what they remember most from the beloved sitcom's nine year run on ABC, you'll probably hear one of the following: The legendary Halloween episodes, the groundbreaking representation of working-class America, the infamous two Beckys, and, of course, that couch.
The decor in the Conner's Lanford, Il. home became iconic in its own right over the course of nine seasons (minus the last one where the Conners won the lottery and completely redesigned their home), with the brown plaid couch and colorful afghan blanket draped across it becoming a focal point of the sitcom's set design. And as the advertisements for ABC's highly-anticipated revival of Roseanne Barr's seminal comedy, debuting Tuesday, March 27, have made abundantly clear, that cherished piece of furniture will be front and center once again.
"It was important to me to have the couch back, and the afghan. I think that's central to what people remember," returning star Sara Gilbert, who's also now an executive producer, told E! News at the show's L.A. premiere. "But there's also, like, the chicken shirt, and there's a few iconic things that were inside jokes that I have such pleasure that fans caught on to and now have become just a part of the show."
As executive producer Whitney Cummings explained, she put her foot down when the idea of updating the couch came up. "It's so funny because the show Roseanne is so driven by authenticity, and in the writer's room it's very much, 'What would happen? What would actually happen?' And then when it came to the set, it was like, 'Well, they would've had a new couch by now.' And I was like, 'No, no! There's no way,'" she told us. "If I was a viewer and I turned on the show and it was a different couch, I would go berserk. So, we just thought, OK, I would've changed the wall paper, you know, because Dan is in construction. We get a new refrigerator, a new coffee maker. But either they've recovered the couch or they've kept it because it's just too sacred to our culture."
Though, as John Goodman spilled, the couch isn't exactly the same. "We couldn't get the couch. The couch is in the Smithsonian Institute and they wouldn't give it up," the actor, who somehow never won an Emmy for his performance as Dan Conner despite seven nominations, admitted. "I think they wanted a literal arm and a leg, or my frozen corpse when I check out...So we got a couch that looks like the first one. But accept no substitutes. Write your government."
Barr remains moved that the set piece means so much to fans of the series. "It's very touching. It's very cool. I'm glad they like it," she told us. "That's how the show opens, with the couch. The couch is the real star."
For more from the cast of Roseanne, including their thoughts on who's changed the most and the least in the two decades its been off the air, be sure to check out the videos above!
Roseanne returns with all of its original stars—including yes, both Beckys—with a special one-hour premiere on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC.