Re­booted Roseanne to turn from pol­i­tics

ABC chief says next sea­son will con­cen­trate more on the fam­ily

The New Zealand Herald - - Entertainment - Emily Yahr Roseanne, Black­ish Fresh Off the Boat. Roseanne, Off the Boat Black­ish Fresh Stand­ing Roseanne Last Man Last Man Stand­ing was Roseanne,” — Wash­ing­ton Post


On Wed­nes­day, US TV net­work ABC held a con­fer­ence call to an­nounce its new sched­ule and boast about all the ex­cit­ing shows in the works. But guess what re­porters re­ally wanted to know about?

If you as­sumed you are cor­rect. The re­booted sit­com gar­nered a huge au­di­ence and con­tro­versy in its first seven weeks, with Roseanne Barr’s con­spir­acy the­ory tweets and one episode’s po­lar­is­ing dig at ABC come­dies


I was a lit­tle bit sur­prised to the re­ac­tion to that line. Chan­ning Dungey, ABC en­ter­tain­ment pres­i­dent

which stars Barr as a Don­ald Trump sup­porter (as she is in real life), earned 18 mil­lion overnight view­ers af­ter its pre­miere in March and be­came a po­lit­i­cal flash­point as Pres­i­dent Trump en­dorsed — and took credit for — the show’s suc­cess. Though on the call, ABC en­ter­tain­ment pres­i­dent Chan­ning Dungey pointed out that the pi­lot fea­tured the most pol­i­tics, as Roseanne faced off with her lib­eral sis­ter, Jackie (Lau­rie Met­calf). In sub­se­quent episodes, it delved much more on the “ev­ery­day tri­als and tribu­la­tions” of the Con­ner fam­ily.

So, for those who are won­der­ing, the sec­ond sea­son will move “away from pol­i­tics and more fo­cused on fam­ily”, Dungey said.

And about that and

joke: In one episode, Roseanne and Dan (John Good­man) fell asleep in front of the TV dur­ing ABC’s prime-time lineup. “We missed all the shows about black and Asian fam­i­lies,” Dan said, ref­er­enc­ing the two shows. Roseanne sar­cas­ti­cally re­sponded, “They’re just like us. There, now you’re all caught up.”

That line caught back­lash from many on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing tele­vi­sion writer Kelvin Yu, who wrote in part, “Con­sider what ex­actly the au­di­ence is laugh­ing at. What ex­actly is the punch­line here? I’ll tell you what it is: it’s an en­dorse­ment of dis­mis­sive­ness and dis­re­gard. It’s a fa­mil­iar­ity and com­fort with the cul­ture of ob­jec­ti­fy­ing and de­mean­ing peo­ple of colour.”

Dungey de­fended the writ­ers and said they were just ex­press­ing the ti­tle char­ac­ter’s views. “I was a lit­tle bit sur­prised to the re­ac­tion to that line,” Dungey said. “We felt like the writ­ers were sim­ply tip­ping the hat to those shows, and it cer­tainly wasn’t meant to of­fend.”

Dungey was asked if he thought Barr’s out­side po­lit­i­cal opin­ions are colour­ing how peo­ple per­ceive the con­tent of the show? “I do think there’s a lit­tle bit of that, yes,” he said.

Also, it seems ABC does not re­gret let­ting go of Tim Allen’s

(an­other com­edy star­ring a 1990s sit­com star as a con­ser­va­tive clash­ing with a lib­eral fam­ily). The show’s fate re­peat­edly “came down to the wire” as the net­work tried to ne­go­ti­ate with the stu­dio, Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox Tele­vi­sion, Dungey said. In­ci­den­tally, just picked up by Fox for a new sea­son.

Dungey re­it­er­ated that the net­work tried to be “as di­verse and in­clu­sive as pos­si­ble”. “she said, is “fo­cus­ing on a fam­ily who is in dif­fer­ent eco­nomic cir­cum­stances than some of our other come­dies on the air”.

Photo / AP

star­ring Roseanne Barr and John Good­man, has drawn huge num­bers of view­ers on its re­turn.

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