Donald Trump praises Roseanne for reboot ratings

The reboot of the 1990s comedy series starring Roseanne Barr drew more than 18 million viewers on its debut night.
The reboot of the 1990s comedy series starring Roseanne Barr drew more than 18 million viewers on its debut night.PHOTO: NYTIMES

LOS ANGELES • Roseanne Barr said she received a congratulatory phone call from United States President Donald Trump after the return of her hit 1990s TV comedy, Roseanne - about a working-class family - trumped all other shows on Tuesday night.

The reboot drew more than 18 million viewers, a significant number for broadcast television, which has come under pressure from online streaming.

"He's just happy for me," Barr, who voted for Mr Trump in the White House race, said.

"I've known him for many years and he's done a lot of nice things for me over the years and it was just a friendly conversation about working and television and ratings."

On Thursday, Barr turned up on the Good Morning America show, saying she hopes Roseanne will help people "agree to disagree" and foster more amicable relations between Mr Trump's supporters and his opponents.

"I really hope that it opens up civil conversation instead of just mudslinging. I really do," she added.

The original Roseanne (1988 to 1997) was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life.

In the revival, Roseanne is a Trump voter who faces off against her sister, Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, who portrays an ardent opponent of the President.

The comedy will also deal with issues such as opioid addiction and access to healthcare.

It features Roseanne's grown-up daughter, Darlene, played again by Sara Gilbert. The latter told trade publication Variety that the series reflects American families' dinner-table political battles.

"We wanted to show a family dealing with the divide over politics that can still love one another," Gilbert said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'Donald Trump praises Roseanne for reboot ratings'. Print Edition | Subscribe