ABC seems to be realizing that they may have acted too quickly in cancelling the rebooted Roseanne series after the star published an indefensible tweet, despite her apology. The network was praised for acting swiftly but now the cost of the decision is dawning on them.

They are even considering bringing the show back without Roseanne.

Cynthia Littleton reports at Variety:

ABC Considers Plans to Rebrand ‘Roseanne’ Without Controversial Star

Comedy is hard. Just ask ABC. Or CBS, or NBC, or Fox.

The major networks have struggled mightily for a decade to field an unqualified sitcom smash. ABC’s reboot of “Roseanne” was that show — until it all fell apart with the touch of a “Send” button.

ABC took the extraordinary step of canceling “Roseanne” after star Roseanne Barr sent a racist tweet that likened Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Barr apologized for what she called a “joke,” but the damage was done. As outrage at the racial slur steamrolled online, ABC and parent company Disney were left with little choice but to sever ties with Barr. It all went down in a matter of hours as the industry was getting back to work after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The situation was unprecedented, and nothing less than traumatic for ABC insiders. “Roseanne” stunned as it rocketed out of the gate in March with some 22 million viewers…

After the shock of the cancellation wore off, key producers behind the “Roseanne” revival — Tom Werner, Sara Gilbert (who also co-stars) and showrunner Bruce Helford — began the inevitable conversations about the possibility of salvaging the show without Barr’s participation. For instance, one option is that the show might be rebranded to focus on the character of Darlene, played by Gilbert.

This is all about money, ratings and regrets:

Another reason to try to save the show: ABC desperately needed the boost “Roseanne” delivered. The network has fallen behind its Big Four rivals and has had trouble launching successful series.

It’s too late. The viewers who handed ABC those ratings will not come back for Roseanne without Roseanne. It wouldn’t even work as a concept. Roseanne is the center of the show. Her character is the glue that binds the show’s universe together.

The only time this has worked is with “Garfield Minus Garfield” which takes the cartoon cat out of the comic. The only reason this is funny is because it turns the strip into something surreal and completely different in meaning.

ABC made their decision. They should live with it, just as Roseanne’s fans are.