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‘Roseanne’ was a staple sitcom which ran from the late 80s to the late 90s.
It was one of the first sitcoms that gave a realistic depiction of family life, and it was downright hilarious.
The show was one of a kind which inspired many others to try and create similar sitcoms.
But despite being one of the most popular sitcoms in American television, there are still a few things most people don’t know about the hit TV show.
First Of It’s Kind
The success of Roseanne saw more and more comedians landing their own sitcoms.
After performing her outspoken “domestic goddess” comedy routine on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1985, Roseanne Barr was offered her own TV show!
TV producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner were interested in developing a sitcom about a working mother, and they thought Roseanne would be the perfect fit!
Soon after the show aired it’s first few episodes, it was clear that it was an immediate hit.
As a result many other networks started offering sitcom deals to comedians which included Tim Allen (Home Improvement).
The show was originally set to be called ‘Life And Stuff’. But Roseanne Barr got the creators to change the title of the show, since it was about Roseanne and not ‘Life and Stuff’.
The exterior shots of the show were actually shot in Indiana, where the shows co-exectutive (Matt Williams) grew up.
Roseanne Barr had never acted before, so the producers thought that surrounding her with a strong supporting cast would give her a crash course in acting.
But it turned out that Roseanne and John Goodman had great chemistry as they squabbled like a married couple from their first reading together.
Macaulay Culkin actually auditioned for the role of D.J.
But Roseanne was insistentthat she wanted Michael Fishman.
“I wanted Michael Fishman because he looked like my family and he was a little Russian boy.”
Roseanne Was Never Nominated
Despite the show and Roseann being well loved, Roseanne Barr was never nominated for for an Emmy.
It was one of the first primetime sitcoms that featured openly gay characters.
Roseanne Barr insisted on featuring gay characters as friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors.
In season eight, Roseanne’s former boss Leon (Martin Mull) married his partner Scott (Fred Willard) and it was very controversial back in 1995.
It actually aired later than its usual time slot because of its “adult humor.”
Roseanne launched many careers, including that of Joss Whedon.
He was only 24 years old when he wrote four episodes for the second season of the show.
All of Roseanne Barr’s ex-husbands had guest appearances on the show.
ALL THREE OF BARR’S EX-HUSBANDS MADE GUEST APPEARANCES ON THE SHOW.
Roseanne was inspired by life with the Roseanne’s first husband, Bill Pentland, and their three children. Pentland even served as an executive consultant for three seasons, as well as writing two episodes, and played one of Dan’s buddies in an early episode.
Real Life Restaurant
The Lanford Lunch Box actually inspired a real life restaurant.
After being married to Tom Arnold for three years, Roseanne and Tom opened ‘Roseanne and Tom’s Big Food Diner’ in Eldon, Iowa.
It served the same loosemeat sandwiches as the Lanford Lunch Box. The diner closed in 1995, a year after Barr and Arnold divorced.
The theme song changed dramatically in the last season.
It went from an instrumental tune to one with lyrics. This change foreshadowed a weird ending to the season that would leave many fans and viewers puzzled.
It seemed weird that the Conners would want to visit The Happiest Place on Earth, but in season eight they did just that … twice.!
That’s because the ABC-Walt Disney Company merger which happened in 1995. It required family shows to feature Disney World or Disneyland.
In 1990 Roseanne got a spin off deal for a Saturday morning cartoon.
Little Rosey was an animated series presumably about Roseanne Barr as a child.
But because Roseanne didn’t voice her character in the first season, the show didn’t take off. She later agreed to voice Rosey in the second season, but the show was suddenly cancelled and replaced by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Where Are They Now?
Roseanne gave her opinions on where the Conners would be now, and I’m afraid it’s not a happy ending.
In 2008, Roseanne told Entertainment Weekly:
“I’ve always said now that if they were on TV, D.J. would have been killed in Iraq and [the Conners] would have lost their house.”
Return To Primetime?
When Roseanne ended in 1997, ABC considered a sequel about the main character’s life as a widow. But it never happened.
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