Synopsis by Hal Erickson
At one time the biggest sitcom "name" on ABC, caustic comedienne Roseanne had been out of the public eye for several years when, in the summer of 2003, she decided to follow in the footsteps of such showbiz colleagues as Ozzy Osbourne and Gary Busey and launch her own reality series. The Real Roseanne Show took viewers behind the scenes as the eponymous star (reverting to her original billing of Roseanne Barr) assembled a new cooking/lifestyle series for the ABC Family Channel, tentatively titled "Domestic Goddess." The off-the-cuff "action" was divided equally between the network's studios and Roseanne's home, with the people in the star's orbit all making drop-in appearances as themselves. Among these co-stars were Roseanne's son Jake, her son-in-law Jeff, her first ex-husband Bill Pentland and his current wife Becky (who was also Roseanne's personal assistant), her head writer Drew, and her makeup coordinator and best friend Shannon. Evidently trying to curry favor with non-fans, Roseanne uncharacteristically went out of her way to be nice and make herself the self-deprecating butt of much of the series' humor. Still, realizing what her true devotees expected, the star also managed to include several abrasive sequences in which she bullied and cajoled her associates, occasionally tossing in a shock or two, such as the scene in which she held a conference with her producer -- in bed. The series was co-produced by the star and R.J. Cutler, the filmmaker responsible for the Oscar-nominated documentary The War Room. The Real Roseanne Show premiered on August 6, 2003, and was canceled soon after due to the cancellation of "Domestic Goddess."