Inside US decision to axe Roseanne

Yesterday was unprecedented in terms of a high-profile hit series being axed by a network on the basis of a single tweet.

But was it really that simple?

CNN has reported on how the decision by ABC and parent company Disney arrived at its decision that has directly impacted more than 200 people who make the show.

It began when execs awoke to Barr’s overnight posts attacking former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Chelsea Clinton and billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

The view inside Disney, according to sources, was that Tuesday was the third or fourth time when Barr’s tweets had presented a problem for ABC. This controversy was by far the worst yet.

Tuesday’s racist and bizarre tweets were “unsurvivable,” one of the sources said. “Enough was enough.”

Barr was informed by phone ahead of time. But other “Roseanne” producers and cast members only found out about the decision when ABC issued a terse statement shortly before 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Around 10:30 a.m. Eastern, 7:30 a.m. Pacific, Barr tweeted out an apology to Jarrett. She said she was “leaving Twitter.”

But ABC had heard this before — there have been past flare-ups when Barr pledged to stay away from the social network, only to come back days or weeks later.

ABC executives thought — and hoped — that Barr would tone down her tweeting and focus on her sitcom.

But that didn’t happen. Barr held onto her beloved Twitter presence and the community she has cultivated there.

So when Tuesday’s tweets stirred outrage, the question within ABC quickly became, “Is there a path forward?”

You can read the full breakdown here.


  1. Armchair Analyst

    ABC knew what they were getting when they agreed to get behind this show. Roseanne has a history of making people angry. Her tweet was horrible, but ABC should have also known better. I cant help but think that there is a element of hypocrisy. If she said something on TV it probably would have been called creative scripts or liners. There seems to be a double standard on what can be said and where. My personal opinion is that the reruns will make a come back at some point, after all Seinfeld is in reruns even after Micheal Richards’s rant a few years back. Although it will be slow and quiet.

  2. Sarah Gilbert was the force behind the shows return, given the age of Dan and Roseanne and their obvious health issues, killing Roseanne off wouldn’t be to hard.

    • daveinprogress

      I really liked the gender fluid kid and Darlene’s interesting circumstances leading her to return home. Sara’s acting really impressed me; given she was reduced to a walk on guest on Big Bang; I hadn’t seen her act in anything since the original series. It was also smart to get Sarah Chalke back in the way they did. How Lecy Goranson looks virtually no older than she did way back when. Bizarre. Oh well I was just getting into the show; having not been terribly interested at first. I watched 3 eps back to back and really enjoyed it.

  3. daveinprogress

    I was really enjoying Sara Gilbert’s performance. I think she is a talent. She was Emmy nominated for the original Roseanne series. I love Laurie Metcalf; she was always my favourite on the show.

  4. daveinprogress

    i guess ABC figured this was going to continue (her bad behaviour), so rather than endure what could be a costly and damaging season, pull the plug on it. I assume that Barr owns a fair bit of (if not all) the intellectual property of the show; so even if they sacked her but kept the show; contracts may not have permitted the network to do so.

    I would have got a body double; arranged the washer and drier to fall on top of her; and hey presto she is now Kathy Bates or better still an actress of completely different look and temperament and call the show Anne-Rose and carry on! The writers could have lots of fun with reinventing her personality as a June Cleaver or Carol Brady type! They changed Becky; Bewitched changed Darrin overnight. May as well jump the shark good and proper! But i get it; the show is named after the comedian and supposedly based on her life.

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