Pro-Trump ‘Roseanne’ brought record-breaking ratings. Now execs push show away from politics.

Pro-Trump ‘Roseanne’ brought record-breaking ratings. Now execs push show away from politics.
Despite record-breaking ratings and reaching America's heartland, ABC executives are moving "Roseanne" away from politics. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

ABC executives canned the popular show “Last Man Standing” last year despite the fact that the show delivered some of the best ratings in TV at the time. Many speculated the decision was made because of Tim Allen’s brand of conservative politics that bled into the show.

Now, ABC executives are toning back conservative and pro-Trump politics in another show: “Roseanne.”

What’s going on?

Despite delivering record-breaking ratings — 25 million people watched the season premiere — and tons of positive media coverage for ABC, the pro-Trump slant of the “Roseanne” re-boot has proved too much for network executives, who have requested the show tone down its politics for season two.

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey told reporters this week they are pushing the show away from politics and toward a family-centered program.

“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,” she said, according to TheWrap.

“I think that one of the things that was fresh for us with ‘Roseanne’ on the air is that it is focusing a family that is in a different economic status than some of the other family comedies that are on the air,” she added.

Ironically, the show’s instant success is likely related to its brand of politics. ABC executives told the New York Times in March they held a meeting the day after President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 to try and understand the segment of America they clearly neglected.

They seemingly found their answer in the success of “Roseanne,” which has been able to successfully resonate with America’s heartland. Why exactly the network is putting the kibosh on its strategy less than two months after touting it remains unknown.

What about ‘Last Man Standing’?

It was revealed last week the hit show had found a new home at Fox. Dungey, despite understanding why the show was a hit, said ABC does not regret cutting it.

“The decisions that we made last year in terms of canceling ‘Last Man Standing’ were made with the best information that we had at the time,” she said.

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