By Brian Flood, ,
Published May 15, 2018
ABC’s “Roseanne” is one of the few popular television programs to feature a pro-Trump character, but conservatives shouldn’t get used to seeing similar ideology on the sitcom for much longer.
ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey put the kibosh on “Roseanne” remaining political in the second season – apparently ditching the strategy the network touted only two months ago.
Dungey said that the show will lean away from politics next season during a conference call with reporters as part of the network’s upfront presentation. Upon learning the news, conservative media icon Matt Drudge tweeted, “Corporate cannibals stripping Roseanne of her fun.”
The return of “Roseanne” featured a debut episode in which characters argued about the 2016 election, with the show’s namesake representing the conservative viewpoint. As the season concluded, politics appeared less frequently on the sitcom.
“I think that they’re going to stay on the path that they were on toward the end of last season, which is away from politics and toward family,” Dungey said during the network’s upfront presentation after the call, according to TheWrap. The site added that Dungey said ABC’s goal is to be “as diverse and as inclusive as possible … across all metrics.”
“I think that one of the things that was fresh for us with ‘Roseanne’ on the air is that it is focusing (on) a family that is in a different economic status than some of the other family comedies that are on the air,” Dungey reportedly said.
The show, starring Roseanne Barr the pro-Trump title character, drew plenty of eyeballs when it premiered on March 27, shocking the industry with over 27 million viewers in Live+7 in delayed ratings. Shortly afterwards, ABC President Ben Sherwood eagerly rolled himself out to The New York Times after the successful return.
At the time, Sherwood claimed that ABC executives had a meeting the morning after the 2016 election about how they could better reach Middle America.
“We looked at each other and said, ‘There’s a lot about this country we need to learn a lot more about, here on the coasts,’” Sherwood told the Times in a feature headline, “‘Roseanne’ Reboot Sprang From ABC’s Heartland Strategy After Trump’s Victory.”
An ABC spokesperson said the network is “definitely not” ditching the heartland strategy when reached by Fox News.