Here are some of the interesting and fun facts about Roseanne, the 80s and 90s sitcom which starred comedienne Roseanne Barr. It became a hit (it ran on nine seasons) for its realistic take on the average American family.
Several writers who had their early start in Roseanne later made a big name for themselves. They include Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Firefly), Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men), and Norm McDonald.
During Roseanne, its lead star Roseanne Barr was married to three different husbands, and each of the guest-starred on at least one episode. Her first husband Bill Pentland, who would be the show’s executive assistant, appeared on one episode; her second husband Tom Arnold, a well-known comedian in his own right; and third husband Ben Thomas, who appeared in two episodes as the series was about to end.
Most of Roseanne was taped inside a studio, but the exterior shots of the Conner home are real. You can actually find it in Evansville, Indiana (as the Conners’ home is located in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois).
Lecy Goranson played the role as the original Becky Conner until the series’ fifth season until she left to pursue her education at Vassar College. Sarah Chalke took over the role.
Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene Conner, would pursue her college eductation, and go to Yale University. Since Gilbert’s role was so essential to the series, the producers adjusted to her schedule and re-wrote the story lines in order to allow her to study. Some remote segments of Darlene Conner alone were shot at a soundstage in New York.
Lecy Goranson once requested she would like her hair be cut to go along with the latest hairstyles of the 1990s. The producers refused. When Roseanne found it out, she became furious. She grabbed a pair of scissors and cut some of Lecy’s hair, which forced the producers to let the young girl to have her hair cut in the way that she liked.
Roseanne is one of the longest-running sitcoms in American television, having entertained its audiences for nine seasons. The series was also one of the highest-rated at its peak. During its second season, Roseanne averaged about 21.2 million every week, and was #1 in the Nielsen ratings.
The series and its cast was nominated and won in several different award-giving bodies. They included one Peabody Award, four American Comedy Awards, three GLAAD Media Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Kids’ Choice Awards, five People’s Choice Awards (it won all its nominations), and four Primetime Emmy Awards. Lead actress Roseanne Barr won the Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1992.
It is interesting to note that while Roseanne was a champion in the ratings, as well as to the critics and fans, it was never nominated for an Emmy for “Best Comedy Series.”
James Pickens Jr., who is mostly known by TV audiences as the hospital chief in Grey’s Anatomy, appeared on the show 19 times through 1990-1996.
The original title was Life and Stuff, as suggested by executive producer Matt Williams, hinting that the sitcom should be an ensemble thing. But Roseanne Barr argued that since it was her show and it was based on her life, it should be titled after her own name instead.
Had Culkin passed the audition, it could have given him his first break in showbiz (two years before he starred in his breakout role in the movie Home Alone). Instead, Michael Fishman won the part of Roseanne’s son D.J., replacing Sal Barone who played the role in the pilot episode.