While much has been made about the prospect of “Roseanne” being on the air in one form or another next season, as first reported several weeks ago (Daily Variety, Feb. 28), the odds may still be a little long.
Roseanne first pitched ABC on another year for her aging sitcom, which has tumbled in the ratings. The Alphabet web passed but told the mercurial star that it would listen to a concept for a new show. Roseanne came back with a pitch for a spinoff, which, according to sources close to the talks, was a little too pricey for the web to gamble on.
On the production side, “Roseanne” producers Carsey-Werner Co. initially made it clear that any new Roseanne project would proceed without them. However, the production company has since changed its mind, apparently after convincing Roseanne that more guidance from them would be necessary for any show to go forward.
Whether any other networks will have an interest in another version of “Roseanne” remains to be seen. Carsey-Werner has met with Fox and is said to have approached CBS. However, both have full and costly comedy development slates. Also, there are concerns among potential buyers over whether Roseanne has worn out her welcome with viewers.
Some observers think that hype is being generated by people close to Roseanne in hopes for a bidding war after ABC passed. Considering that ABC is losing its Friday 8 p.m. show “Family Matters,” and has had trouble launching new shows, it is interesting that even the familiarity of “Roseanne” wasn’t enough for the web to cut a deal.