×

Roseanne to writers: take a number

Roseanne Arnold has given new meaning to the concept of writing by the numbers.

Arnold, star of the high-rated Carsey-Werner Co. sitcom “Roseanne,” issued numbered T-shirts to each of the show’s 19 staff writers during last week’s table reading.

Although a few of the writers were said to have been a bit put off by being reduced to a number — particularly in light of the Arnolds’ penchant for high writer turnover on the ABC series — most took the gesture in the spirit in which it was reportedly intended: “to make everyone feel welcome and at home,” said Jay Daniel, one of the exec producers on the series.

The roster of writers, including co-exec producer and head writer Rob Ulin, is significantly more crowded than the average comedy series because producers Roseanne and Tom Arnold have sought to augment the show’s staff with stand-up comics and other unestablished writers along with the main cadre of scribes.

“Rosey and Tom have encouraged us to use inexperienced writers along with the core of the more experienced staff,” Daniel said. “We found that it just gives you a fresh perspective in the room.”

Daniel added that despite the number of writers involved, the cost of maintaining such a large staff isn’t so outlandish as it may sound because many are newcomers who command relatively modest salaries.

“Roseanne” has completed production on three episodes of its sixth season; new segs begin airing Sept. 14.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content