12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 10, 1998
Rosanne returns to television with big goals and dreams.
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - It's not even noon
yet, but inside her new office at CBS'
Television City in Los Angeles,
Roseanne is already shaking.
No, it's not her temper, as some who
witnessed her meteoric and stormy rise
as a television power broker with her
groundbreaking "Roseanne" series
And it's also not trepidation, even
though the actress-comedian is stepping
into the heavily competitive and treach-
erous field of daytime talk shows.
Among the recent performers who have
gone before her into the arena, only to
fall on their faces, were Marilu Henner,
George Hamilton, Suzanne Somers and
No, the shaking has to do with the
nonstop flow of ideas about what she
wants to accomplish with her new ven-
ture, "The Roseanne Show," which pre-
"I'm on fire," declares the slimmed-
down entertainer. "This is so cool. I
never sleep. I go around shaking all the
time - I feel all this intense energy. I'm
in a free creative space, trying to get to
And she is determined not to let the
cliched traditions and restrictions of the
daytime talk show genre stand in her
way. She says she wants to reinvent stan-
dard talk shows, where celebrities come
on mainly to plug their latest projects,
"I don't need to get people who have
been on eight other talk shows,"
Roseanne says as she brushes back her
new hairdo. "I don't want those people
unless they have something positive to
say, unless they can contribute hope,
unless they can offer something. I'm
sick of everything being torn down."
Don't get her wrong. "The Roseanne
Show" will feature celebrities, as well as
comedy bits and recurring characters.
Despite her serious tone, Roseanne is
still a comic at heart.
But she is more focused on providing
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an informational - and even spiritual
-- forum for the exchange of ideas. .With
the uncertainty of a new millennium
around the corner, she wants her show to
serve as a hopeful vchicle that will help
people of different cultures and religions
understand one another better.
"Just having the free exchange of
ideas is exciting:' Roseanne says. "I
want to have on contributii<g members of
society ... and mothers. We want to
explore children's issues. I never thought
I would ever feel this ignited at this level.
Information can change lives."
One example of what Roseanne is try-
ing to accomplish took place during a
recent taping in which basketball "bad
boy" Dennis Rodman appeared.
Roseanne teasingly asked Rodman to
remove his large hat and sunglasses, but
Rodman repeatedly refused. Roseanne
just snatched the hat off at one point,
which surprised but did not anger
Rodman as he rubbed his luminously
Moments later, Roseanne surprised
Rodnan, who in June had paid for the
burial of James Byrd Jr., a black man
who was murdered when three white
men allegedly dragged him and dismem-
bered him in a racially motivated attack.
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iwo of Byrd's sisters came on the show
to thank Rodman and to give him a spe-
cial certificate. Even behind his sun-
glasses, he was noticeably touched.
"What happened with that whole seg-
ment was real television, and that's what
we're trying to do:' says Jeff Wald,
Roseanne's manager and one of the syn-
dicated seres' executive producers. "She
has this warmth and kindness. She'll
allow guests to have a forum to get
through their ideas, but she also wants to
see what makes them laugh and makes
"The Roseanne Show" is being pro-
duced and distributed by King World,
which also produces and distributes
"The Oprah Winfrey Show," the elite of
the talk field. Under terms of King
World's contract with stations, "The
Roseanne Show" can never air against
Winfrey or Rosie O'Donnell's program.
"We're not in competition with them,"
says Michael King, vice chairman and
chief executive officer of King World
Productions Inc. "This show is very dif-
ferent from 'Oprah' or any other talk
show. Roseanne has been one of the
most sought-after guests on these shows.
Moreover, she's a tremendous listener
and good audience for other performers.
Roseanne has been in so many fiel
and she's bringng the same kind of col
mitment to this format that she has in
the others. She has more to lose doi
this than King World. and she's givin
more than 100 percent."
Roseanne says she is more co o
able with herself these days as a }
an entertainer and a parent, and she
anxious to share that with her audien
"At last I can say who I really am," s
said. "I don't have to worry about w
people think about me any more. It w
always there. I don't have the need
camouflage. I've always believed in GC
and now I have this great hope, witho
all of the cynical self-destructive cra
Despite her popularity and pasAu
cess. Roseanne says she is still a z
that the new show will allow her not on
to be on TV all over the country but al
in 32 other countries. She is also parti
ularly pleased and proud that three of h
grown daughters are on the show's sta
And among one of her dream sho
would be a reunion of the "Roseann
cast. She has seen little of them since tl
ABC comedy ended last year.
"I really miss them," she say@I'
always love them.,"
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