The cast of The Conners is finally breaking their silence on why they decided to continue the story of the Conner family in a new spin-off without embattled Roseanne star Roseanne Barr.

In an interview with People, John Goodman revealed that the cast simply wasn't ready to call it quits. "There was the feeling of not wanting it to go away until we were ready," he said. "There was a debt owed to this fictional family. We want to finish telling this story."

Laurie Metcalf admitted the gang, which also includes Michael Fishman and Sara Gilbert, had some concerns over continuing the project without Barr. However, after talking to each other, they ultimately decided to forge ahead anyway. "There was a lot of risk involved," she told the magazine. "But we all decided as a group to take the risk, knowing that we could be judged by deciding to come back."

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"We're leaning on each other when we do this show," Goodman added. "And supporting each other -- that's a very strong feeling among us. It's different, but we can create something new from it. Let us finish the story on our own terms. Come along with us and see how we do."

Sara Gilbert, Jayden Rey, Michael Fishman, Ames McNamara, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, Emma Kenney, <em>The Conners</em>Sara Gilbert, Jayden Rey, Michael Fishman, Ames McNamara, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson, Emma Kenney, The Conners


ABC canceled the wildly successful Roseanne revival in May after Barr's tweet comparing former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, a black woman, to an ape. But despite the controversy surrounding The Conners, the cast is hopeful it can endure.

"Any sadness that we feel over what we've lost we're hopefully channeling in an honest way into the show," said Gilbert, who also serves as a producer on the series. "And our show has always been able to deal with heavy topics, particularly for a sitcom. It's been kind of built into the mix."

ABC will try to scrub the remaining traces of Barr by reportedly killing Roseanne. Barr has also agreed to surrender all of her financial and creative ties to the series, a move that makes it clear she will have no part in the upcoming series.

The Conners premieres Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 8/7c on ABC.