She's Back! "Roseanne" Returns to ABC to "Complete the Story of This Family"

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24 March 2018

ABC, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00 PM ET

By Kellie Freeze

On Tuesday, ABC proudly reboots its groundbreaking comedy Roseanne, which ran on the network from 1988-97. The original series followed the exploits and adventures of the working-class Conner family, and centered around the mother of the family, played by comedian Roseanne Barr.

“I think it’s fun to check back in with the family that you knew and felt you knew so much about and that you enjoyed so much,” Barr said at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “This was a show about female empowerment, about people speaking their minds,” added executive producer Tom Werner. “It was very important for us to come back and honor that.”

Now, the series, led by its outspoken matriarch, returns for nine new episodes. Most of the series’ original cast takes part in the revival, including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman and both actresses who played eldest daughter Becky, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke, although Chalke will play a new character. Estelle Parsons, Sandra Bernhard and Johnny Galecki will make guest appearances.

When it aired in the ’80s and ’90s, Roseanne was the unapologetic voice of the middle class, and viewers dubbed Barr their heroine. Throughout its nine seasons, the series was consistently at the top of Nielsen ratings and was lauded for its unashamed exploration of class, race, weight and sex in Middle America.

“I’ve always tried to have it be a true reflection of the society we live in,” explains Barr.

In the new season, the show casts its eye upon the divisive state of American politics, aging, gender, healthcare and the nation’s opioid crisis. And, as it did decades ago, Roseanne will tackle the tough issues with a dose of brutal honesty and heart.

“The humor comes from reality,” says Goranson. “It comes from a deep place, and I think that people want a meal and not a snack, and they’ve had a lot of snacks over the past 20 years. That’s my small opinion.”

As for Roseanne, she’s thrilled to just have the chance to close the Conner family story.

“I think that I’ve grown up. I’m a grandmother now. I have six grandchildren. And I’m 65 years old. And I’m so happy that I have Medicaid. Or is it Medicare? I mix them up. And, in fact, this whole arc of this season is about healthcare and stuff like that,” Barr says. “In the original series, I always wanted to have a 10th year so that I could do exactly what I did in these nine [episodes], which was to finish and complete the story of this family.”
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