WHY REALITY TV CAN'T HANDLE ROSEANNE
By MICHAEL GILTZ
July 28, 2003 -- ROSEANNE'S back on the air with not one - but two new shows. The first is a reality series titled "The Real Roseanne Show" debuting next week on ABC.
"Don't call it a reality series!" an older, wiser Roseanne insists.
She still laughs the cackle that memorably ended her sitcom's 10-year run.
The idea was to do a real-life network series about Rosenane trying to sell a, um, real-life cable series.
"Everybody says 'reality' but it's more like a documentary."
What you see watching the first series - "The Real Roseanne Show" - is a star who fears that what she's done since her smash hit has been a failure, a daytime talk show.
She believes her new cable series - a cooking show called "Domestic Goddess" airing on ABC Family as soon as the "Real Roseanne" ends - may be her last chance.
Will she be able to maneuver through the stress of being back in the spotlight without falling into her old habits of yelling and firing everyone around her?
So far - yes.
"It turned out to be the most ridiculous disaster, the making of the pilot," Roseanne admits. "And I ended up with a pretty unairable product -but I was nice!"
This time, Roseanne surrounds herself with family and friends, paying her sons to work in her production company (they're seen on "Real Roseanne" playing with plastic swords and getting lost on the way to a crucial meeting with agents), taking advice from a rabbi who's a face reader and analyzes some people she's considering to run her project, and basically maintaining her acerbic cool as the pressure mounts.
Watch the show and you'll see Roseanne's new boyfriend (a composer of children's music whom she met on the Internet) giving sensible advice while they try to hash out her comeback.
Roseanne says it's high time for a little nepotism. "I made a lot of people millionaires and not one of them's ever thanked me," she says.
"I'm doing it for my kids this time."