Tom WernerLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 6/21/18 at 8:47PM EDT
ABC officially orders Roseanne spinoff The Conners -- without Roseanne Barr's participation
“Roseanne Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series,” ABC said in announcing its 10-episode straight-to-series order for The Conners spinoff, premiering this fall and starring Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman. Executive producer Tom Werner and showrunner Bruce Helford will also be back. ABC didn't announce how the spinoff would move forward without Roseanne Conner, but a description hinted that she might be killed off. “After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before," ABC said in its announcement. "This iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.” ABC's announcement included a statement from Barr herself: “I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne," Barr said. "I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved." ALSO: Roseanne Barr is expected to retain all rights to her Roseanne Conner character, including for future spinoffs/reboots beyond The Conners.
Posted Friday 6/08/18 at 2:52PM EDT
Original Roseanne producer Marcy Carsey would not reboot the show without Roseanne Barr
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Carsey of Carsey-Werner Productions had nothing to do with the ABC revival, unlike her production partner Tom Warner. Werner said at the ATX Television Festival that ABC made the right call by canceling the revival after Roseanne Barr's racist tweet. When asked later by The Hollywood Reporter if Roseanne should be rebooted without its star, she said: "I would have a very difficult time. I think I would not. I think I would just say, 'Ok, we had a wonderful run.' I love the show we did all those years ago and I would just move on." Carsey, who also produced The Cosby Show, also addressed the Bill Cosby scandal: "All I can say is that life gives you these surprises. The Roseanne political stance, what a surprise. Bill Cosby... the guy that we worked with, the guy we knew him to be or thought him to be was a wonderful collaborator, a brilliant guy, very kind-hearted. When anyone was sick or had a loss, he was right there. So it was a shocker."
Posted Tuesday 6/05/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Report: ABC heard a Darlene-centered Roseanne spinoff pitch, but it wouldn't be ready by September
Sara Gilbert and fellow producers Tom Werner and Bruce Helford met on Monday with ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey to discuss a potential spinoff focusing on Darlene Conner, according to Variety. While prospects are looking good, ABC still has yet to resolve several issues, including how the network could proceed without Roseanne Barr benefitting financially. There is also the question of when it would launch. The earliest, according to Variety, is November. "Working in the spinoff’s favor," says Variety, "is the belief that curiosity would drive large audiences to the show’s premiere in much the same way that the Roseanne debut benefited from questions over whether and how Barr’s support for President Donald Trump would manifest itself onscreen."
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 11:47PM EDT
Report: ABC to hear Roseanne spinoff ideas, but it doesn't want Roseanne Barr to benefit financially
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter says there have been no formal discussions to revive Roseanne without Rosanne Barr, but a meeting between producers and ABC is scheduled for next week. As The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg reports, ABC is "open to potential spinoff ideas with a catch: they have to be without Roseanne Barr and the actress and former head writer of the sitcom would not be able to financially benefit from any new incarnation of the series." Producers are up for any idea, including the Darlene-centered spinoff that TMZ reported earlier Friday. Still, Goldberg adds, "continuing Roseanne without Barr attached in any form may prove challenging. The series was created by Matt Williams and is based upon a character created by Barr. That could make an offshoot a thorny debate as it's unclear if just the character of Roseanne Conner falls under Barr's oversight."
- "There was always a feeling that something was going to happen," a Roseanne show source tells People magazine. "There was always a heightened awareness with her and we were always on edge about her going off track...But you just hold your breath until it does. Did we think she would say something like that? No. But then it all fell apart.”
- Since Roseanne Barr has ownership/backend, she could mount a legal challenge over a Roseanne spinoff
- Why did Roseanne stay off Twitter throughout Friday?
- Why would Roseanne's Trump-supporting fans tune in for a spinoff revolving around liberal Darlene?
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 9:55PM EDT
Continuing Roseanne without Roseanne Barr is "a long shot" -- "possible but not probable"
Executive producer Tom Werner is expected to meet with showrunner Bruce Helford and Sara Gilbert in a few days after cooling off from the Tuesday's abrupt cancelation "to kick around possible ideas for continuing the show without Barr," according to Deadline. It makes sense for Carsey-Werner Television, which owns and produces Roseanne, to want to keep the series going since the stars are already under contract for next season and they love working together. "Still, there are a lot of hurdles, from coming up with a concept that will live up to the high creative bar set by the original series to changing the name of the show," reports Deadline's Nellie Andreeva, pointing out that ABC is not involved in any discussions to continue the series without Barr. She adds: "An informed source close to the situation said pulling off an offshoot series with the rest of the Roseanne cast is 'possible but not probable.' Another source called it 'a long shot.' If it comes together, Roseanne 2.0 would likely not be ready for fall. if it doesn’t, the focus will shift to who will get paid for the aborted Season 11. I hear there have been no conversations yet with the Roseanne cast, writers or crew about compensation but such talks should be forthcoming if the Hail Mary pass to salvage the show does not work." There is also the issue of Barr and her Twitter account. She's already attacked co-stars Michael Fishman and Gilbert. If Roseanne carries on without Barr, says Andreeva, her "shadow will be looming large in the background."
- ABC/Disney could be on the hook for "tens of millions of dollars" since Roseanne stars should get their full Season 2 paycheck -- but it's unclear if the writers will be paid
- Roseanne writer Bruce Rasmussen says "it was just brutal" being connected with the show: "It was hard for us once we started airing and we started to see some of the stuff that came out. It was just brutal: ‘How dare they give her a show? How dare they write for her?’ It was a certain amount of pressure. You’re the No. 1 show, and people are coming after you on the web and you’re getting attacked by 50 percent of the press.”
- A writer's assistant says Roseanne Barr was unlike her Twitter persona in the writers' room: pleasant and considerate
- Why Roseanne without Roseanne Barr won't work: "There’s a reason why the Roseanne reboot was so popular, for better or worse: Roseanne Barr," says Joel Keller. "Her unique stamp on her original show built up millions of fans over the nine years it was on the air the first time around, and the 25 years it was on in syndication." Plus, he adds, "without Barr, they’d likely see The Connor Family as just a bunch of 'snowflakes' complaining about not having healthcare. Given Roseanne‘s ratings decline from its premiere as the show went on, losing almost half of the premiere’s audience, ABC likely would have seen a further decline as people checked out the re-reboot and decided to switch to something else."
- Tom Arnold says Roseanne Barr "wanted" the cancelation to happen: "If it hadn’t happened yesterday, this season would have been so awful for everyone every day because she would have felt like she was (being) taken advantage (of), just like when I left the show."
- Jimmy Kimmel was criticized for defending Roseanne on Twitter: "What @TheRealRoseanne said is indefensible, but angrily attacking a woman who is obviously not well does no good for anyone," he tweeted. "Please take a breath and remember that mental health issues are real. The Roseanne I know could probably use some compassion and help right now."
- Why Sara Gilbert and Emma Kenney were "delusional," displaying "phony smarm," with their response to Roseanne's tweets
- Lecy Goranson tweets she's "devastated" by cancelation, "but more devastating are the effects of hate speech and racism on individuals and society"
- Former Trump campaign aide wants to hire Roseanne Barr for his new online streaming platform
- A TV critic regrets not taking Roseanne Barr's past tweets seriously enough in her positive reviews of the Roseanne revival
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says "The Bad-Taste Joke defense just doesn’t work in this case": "You can’t have read a book or newspaper, watched a movie or a television show, or just lived in America for the past 200 years without knowing that any reference to an African-American and an ape is textbook racism. Also, her odd, inaccurate and deliberately inflammatory reference to the Muslim Brotherhood to her average Twitter follower will seem like a slam to all Muslims."
- TV Guide magazine's 1989 cover featuring Roseanne Barr and Bill Cosby goes viral
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 1:36PM EDT
Whitney Cummings departs as Roseanne's co-showrunner for Season 2
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The comedian, who said she "became the PC police" on Roseanne while helping shepherd the revival, "is going to be too busy" for next season, according to her fellow co-showrunner Bruce Helford. He adds that "Whitney is always a member of the family of the show but she's got so much going on. I don't know how she had time to work on the show in the first place. I don't think she'll be able to join us in the capacity she was joining us in this first season." Cummings, who co-created 2 Broke Girls, was working with Roseanne executive producer Tom Werner of Carsey-Werner when he proposed that she help lead the revival. Cummings said when Werner “called me and he said, ‘We’re doing this. Do you want to be a part of it?’ … I canceled everything I had going on and made myself available, if anything just to go in and learn from these writers.” Helford also said Roseanne will bring in a group of new writers for Season 2: "We have a lot of new voices, younger voices, which I think is important on the show. I'll be showrunning next season. We run a democratic room, almost nobody has a stronger voice than anybody else; everybody's input is there. I'm excited because there are a lot of new voices and because I believe we've got the best of the voices who have been part of it continuing." UPDATE: Cummings confirms her exit on Twitter: "Due to work commitments and my tour schedule, I'm gonna have to watch the Conner's from the sidelines next season."