This year’s reboot of the hit 90s sitcom Roseanne was a massive smash hit, drawing 25 million viewers in America for its first episode.
So the decision overnight by US network ABC to immediately axe the ratings winner, after its star and creator Roseanne Barr’s disgraceful racist Twitter rampage, is pretty astounding.
It takes some pretty solid morals in this day and age to choose decency over dollars – many, many dollars.
And while I think they made the right and inevitable decision, it’s a disappointing one.
Families don’t get a whole lot of airtime in TV dramas anymore – especially ‘normal’ ones with realistic lives, where their homes are affordable and they have to work at jobs instead of sitting around chatting over coffee.
Roseanne is a show that’s blunt, raw and very relatable.
You can see yourself in one or more of the characters represented on screen. They have a breadth of issues to tackle – not just clichéd romances of confected interpersonal dramas.
There’s a reason the modern remake resonated with so many people. And, actual politics aside, it’s the same reason Donald Trump is in the White House.
It spoke to people who have felt ignored for a long time.
The network was clearly nervous about the successful but polarising Barr, having said just last month that they wanted less politics in the next season of the reboot.
But could the show not continue without her? There are a half dozen other very strong and compelling characters who could carry it, in my view.
As Sara Gilbert said on Twitter in the wake of ABC’s decision, the show “is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member”.
It is the sum of its parts, not one part.
Barr can’t return – there’s no doubt about that. She’s damaged goods and this is far from her only indiscretion. Need I mention that whole Nazi photo shoot?
But perhaps the on-screen Roseanne could tastefully exit and leave the rest of the Conner clan to continue telling representative and vital stories that people want to see?
Failing that, re-cast her with Melissa McCarthy. The now-unthinkable notion of swapping actors happened a lot in the 90s after all!