In a revival of the popular ABC sitcom “Roseanne” set to debut mid-season, comedian Roseanne Barr is expected to take on Donald Trump and the current reality of ordinary Americans.
“I don’t know whether Roseanne (Barr) will speak about Trump by name. But she’s going to speak very honestly,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey at the Banff World Media Festival during a keynote address on Monday.
“We’re going to be tackling some of the topics that are in the conversation today. I’ll leave it that,” Dungey said.
Thirty years after the debut of “Roseanne,” original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson will return along with new kids and grandchildren. The show will focus on the everyday lives of a working-class family in America.
“Now we will have three generations — Roseanne, her kids and her kids have kids who are teenagers. So we’ll bring back a point-of-view that has really been missing on the air,” Dungey said.
The Hollywood Reporter claimed “By that, the ABC Entertainment boss is talking about a push by her network to deliver TV shows that speak to U.S. audiences as a whole, including those that elected Donald Trump as the U.S. president, and not just to the coasts.”
Dungey said, “Certainly, that’s something in our development that we’ve been trying to look at more directly.”
The original “Roseanne” aired from 1988 to 1997, and the revival will return to ABC for an eight-episode run.
“Roseanne is an established show. It’s an established family, it has an established character. Thirty years ago, Roseanne was speaking very openly about her life and her challenges. And it’s a perfect time to have that voice back to talk about the realities now,” Dungey said.
Dungey asserted that “Roseanne” is the right television show for the Trump era, and that ABC attempts to appeal to a broad audience—a need that has become more acute following the recent U.S. presidential election.
“What the election revealed was that there’s parts of our country that didn’t feel heard, that they didn’t have a voice. When you look at how the polling data went in the run-up to the election, it was kind of big surprise to many people that the election turned out as it did.”
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