President Trump may have recently bashed the Oscars and Oprah Winfrey on 60 Minutes, but here’s one show he can get behind — one that centers around a fictional supporter of his, played by a real-life one: Roseanne. So much so, he reached out to the show’s co-creator and star, Roseanne Barr, to congratulate her on the stellar premiere.
Tuesday’s hour-long block of the sitcom’s revival averaged 18.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That’s a 10% increase over the 16.6 million viewers documented for the series finale, which aired in 1997.
The White House confirmed to the Associated Press that Trump placed a Wednesday night phone call to the actress behind the brazen Roseanne Conner.
“It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you that much,” the comic told Good Morning Americaanchor George Stephanopoulos by phone Thursday morning, saying she was touched by the gesture.
“We talked about a lot of things. He’s just happy for me,” she added. “I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years, and so it was just a friendly conversation about working and television and ratings.”
Barr said she believes the revival, which revealed that her character had not spoken to her sister, the liberal Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) since the 2016 election, fills a void in programming.
“The idea that people can agree to disagree is kind of missing from everything,” she said.
She added that it’s her intention that Roseanne can ignite productive dialogue among the different political factions in its audience.
“I really hope that it opens up civil conversation between people (rather) than just mudslinging,” she said. “I really do ’cause I think we need to be more civilized than that.”
The president wasn’t the first Trump to applaud Barr. Donald Jr. extended a congratulatory tweet to Barr Wednesday.
“Congrats @therealroseanne,” he wrote in response to a story about her program’s debut ratings. “If you’re not too busy already maybe work in a late night show too… seems there’s some demand for an alternate viewpoint.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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