ABC’s revival of “Roseanne” has been the TV success story of the 2018-19 season, but when the hit sitcom reboot returns next season it will be without exec producer and co-showrunner Whitney Cummings.
Cummings’ fellow showrunner Bruce Helford dropped that revelation during a Friday-morning conference call with reporters, explaining why the writer/comedian wouldn’t be back for the show’s 11th season.
“I think Whitney is going to be too busy,” Helford told The Hollywood Reporter during the call. “Whitney is always a member of the family of the show but she’s got so much going on. I don’t know how she had time to work on the show in the first place. I don’t think she’ll be able to join us in the capacity she was joining us in this first season.”
While viewers have been enjoying the onscreen reunion of stars Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, and the rest of the Conner clan, the talent assembled in the show’s writers’ room includes comedians Norm Macdonald and Wanda Sykes (Barr, as she did in the show’s original incarnation, serves as head writer).
Meanwhile, Helford told reporters that a number of new writers will be joining the show for the upcoming season, including Ali Liebegott (“Transparent”), Emily Wilson (“AP Bio”), Jena Friedman (a standup comic who has written for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Late Show with David Letterman”) and Ted Jessup (“Family Guy”).
“We have a lot of new voices, younger voices, which I think is important on the show,” Helford said, noting that with Cummings’ departure he’ll be sole showrunner.
“We run a democratic room, almost nobody has a stronger voice than anybody else; everybody’s input is there. I’m excited because there are a lot of new voices and because I believe we’ve got the best of the voices who have been part of it continuing.”