Fox News provided more details on the demand from ABC: “ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey put the kibosh on “Roseanne” remaining political in the second season – apparently ditching the strategy the network touted only two months ago.
Dungey said that the show will lean away from politics next season during a conference call with reporters as part of the network’s upfront presentation. Upon learning the news, conservative media icon Matt Drudge tweeted, “Corporate cannibals stripping Roseanne of her fun.”
The return of “Roseanne” featured a debut episode in which characters argued about the 2016 election, with the show’s namesake representing the conservative viewpoint. As the season concluded, politics appeared less frequently on the sitcom.
“I think that they’re going to stay on the path that they were on toward the end of last season, which is away from politics and toward family,” Dungey said during the network’s upfront presentation after the call, according to TheWrap. The site added that Dungey said ABC’s goal is to be “as diverse and as inclusive as possible … across all metrics.”
“I think that one of the things that was fresh for us with ‘Roseanne’ on the air is that it is focusing (on) a family that is in a different economic status than some of the other family comedies that are on the air,” Dungey reportedly said.
The show, starring Roseanne Barr the pro-Trump title character, drew plenty of eyeballs when it premiered on March 27, shocking the industry with over 27 million viewers in Live+7 in delayed ratings. Shortly afterward, ABC President Ben Sherwood eagerly rolled himself out to The New York Times after the successful return.
At the time, Sherwood claimed that ABC executives had a meeting the morning after the 2016 election about how they could better reach Middle America.