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30 Years of ‘Roseanne’ — What Really Went on Behind the Scenes of the Show

Can magic be recaptured? That is most likely the question on the minds of Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and the rest of the cast of Roseanne as they get ready for the relaunch of their show more than 20 years after it ended its first run. Because, let’s face it, a lot can change in terms of the audience over that span of time. Will they be anxiously awaiting its return, or will all of these years — not helped by a final season that pretty much everyone hates — color that return? Obviously, we’ll know soon enough when Roseanne re-premieres on ABC March 27th.

Roseanne though, inspired by the stand-up comedy of its leading lady, originally debuted on ABC in 1988 and remained there for nine seasons. While the show began as a typical sitcom joke machine, it very quickly became a series about something. The focus was on the working-class Conner family consisting of husband and wife Dan and Roseanne and their kids; with a wide number of recurring characters. The connection that the show originally made with viewers was a strong one, particularly by those who were struggling their way through life. It dealt with real issues along the way. There were stories about physical abuse, emotional trauma, finding and losing jobs, being unable to pay not only for a kid’s college education, but just to keep the lights on, and so on.

At its best, Roseanne was a major slice of life show, and it will be interesting to see what will be addressed in this new version. One thing for sure: they’re going to do their best to make us laugh. Of course, behind the scenes, things weren’t always so funny, especially on a creative level, as you’ll see from this look back, along with a glimpse into the future.