'Roseanne' revival's next season will focus on family, not politics, ABC says
UPI News Service, 05/16/2018
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said she doesn't expect the next season of "Roseanne" to focus on politics.
When the show returned this spring after a 21-year absence, the titular matriarch played by Roseanne Barr was re-introduced as a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, while her sister Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, was still upset that Hillary Clinton or Jill Stein didn't win the election.
Asked in a teleconference with reporters Tuesday if she thinks more time will be devoted to the siblings' political differences in the future, Dungey replied: "We certainly did touch on some of that in the first episode.
"In a very funny way, I think it allowed us, between the different, political views of Roseanne and Jackie, to address some issues that we think have been conversations at other family dining tables across the country."
"That said, having touched on that in the first episode of the season, I think when you look at the subsequent episodes of the run, the focus is not really on politics and is much more on family and the everyday trials and tribulations that this family faces and still brings them together," she added.
So, what about next season, the sitcom's 12th?
"I think that they are going to continue on the path they were on toward the latter part of this season, which is away from politics and more focused on family," Dungey said.
The network executive said ABC tries to tell as many different stories as possible and "Roseanne" fits that mandate because it shows a struggling, Midwestern family, facing different challenges than the wealthier characters in some its sitcoms like "black-ish" and "Modern Family."
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"We look to be diverse and inclusive from a racial perspective, from a gender perspective, from a religious perspective and also from an economic perspective," Dungey said.
She defended the decision to cancel in 2017 Tim Allen's highly rated "Last Man Standing," a sitcom that has in some ways been compared to "Roseanne" in that it features characters with conservative viewpoints.
"The decision we made last year in terms of canceling 'Last Man Standing' were made with the best information we had at the time," Dungey said.
"We had had a couple of years running where we had come down to the wire in terms of being able to make a deal with our studio partners and, unfortunately, that year we were not able to come to terms and bring the show back. But I wish them every success in the return of that show on Fox."
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