'Roseanne' boss asks viewers to separate revival from controversial star's persona

[This story contains spoilers from the "Roseanne Gets the Chair" episode of ABC's Roseanne revival.]

Following a week of headlines — some good, some less so — ABC's Roseanne revival returned Tuesday with its third episode of the season.

The latest installment featured Darlene's (Sara Gilbert) teenage daughter Harris (ShamelessEmily Kenney) clashing with Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), prompting a frank discussion about parenting styles among the Conner family. Meanwhile, Roseanne refuses to acknowledge that she's "old," and won't use a mechanical chair to help her climb the stairs as she battles knee pain.

It arrives as ABC — and, incidentally, President Donald Trump, whom Barr heard from post-premiere -- is taking a victory lap. After all, the revival starring the Trump supporter (on air and off) delivered the jaw-dropping ratings at a time when little else has been able to cut through. In fact, with three days of DVR returns factored in, Roseanne's premiere episode viewership is now bigger than the Oscars. 

Here, co-showrunner Bruce Helford — who ran one season of the original series — talks with The Hollywood Reporter about this week's episode, his controversial star (and her controversial tweets), hopes for season two and what he hopes the show will accomplish.

See photos from the "Roseanne" revival:

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'Roseanne' revival
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'Roseanne' revival
ROSEANNE - 'Go Cubs' - The Conners can't pay their Wi-Fi bill, so they befriend their new neighbors to use the internet for Mary to Skype with mom Geena, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Dan loses an important job and D.J. admits post-military life has been hard, so they come up with a plan to make extra money, on the seventh episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 8 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, ROSEANNE BARR, ALAIN WASHNEVSKY, ANNE BEDIAN
ROSEANNE - 'No Country for Old Women' - After Beverly gets kicked out of the nursing home, Roseanne and Jackie fight over who will take care of their mother. Meanwhile, Mark's creative touch with building a birdhouse for Dan's customer is more than Dan can handle, but Darlene defends her son, on the sixth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 1 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Greg Gayne/ABC via Getty Images) ESTELLE PARSONS, LAURIE METCALF
ROSEANNE - 'Eggs Over, Not Easy' - A crucial moment for Becky's surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other's lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie's application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind, on the fourth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 10 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF, LECY GORANSON, SARAH CHALKE
ROSEANNE - 'Netflix & Pill' - After celebrating their 45th anniversary, Roseanne reveals to Dan a bigger problem with her bad knee. Meanwhile, Crystal announces her retirement as a waitress at the casino, and Becky and Darlene compete for the job which has full-time benefits, on the eighth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 15 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN
ROSEANNE - 'Darlene v. David' - David unexpectedly shows up for Harris' birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Bev temporarily moves into the Conner home after an incident at the nursing home prevents her from returning, on the fifth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 17 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Greg Gayne via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, SARA GILBERT
ROSEANNE - 'Go Cubs' - The Conners can't pay their Wi-Fi bill, so they befriend their new neighbors to use the internet for Mary to Skype with mom Geena, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Dan loses an important job and D.J. admits post-military life has been hard, so they come up with a plan to make extra money, on the seventh episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 8 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, MICHAEL FISHMAN
ROSEANNE - 'Netflix & Pill' - After celebrating their 45th anniversary, Roseanne reveals to Dan a bigger problem with her bad knee. Meanwhile, Crystal announces her retirement as a waitress at the casino, and Becky and Darlene compete for the job which has full-time benefits, on the eighth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 15 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'Go Cubs' - The Conners can't pay their Wi-Fi bill, so they befriend their new neighbors to use the internet for Mary to Skype with mom Geena, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Dan loses an important job and D.J. admits post-military life has been hard, so they come up with a plan to make extra money, on the seventh episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 8 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JAYDEN REY, SARA GILBERT, LAURIE METCALF
ROSEANNE - ABC's 'Roseanne' stars Ames McNamara as Mark, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner, Jayden Rey as Mary, Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner, and Sarah Chalke as Andrea. (Robert Trachtenberg/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Roseanne Gets the Chair' - Roseanne's clash with Darlene over how she's raising her kids - especially Harris - reaches a breaking point; while Dan tries to help Roseanne with her bad knee by getting her an elevator chair, which she refuses to use because she doesn't want to admit getting old, on the second episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 3 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN
ROSEANNE - 'Roseanne Gets the Chair' - Roseanne's clash with Darlene over how she's raising her kids - especially Harris - reaches a breaking point; while Dan tries to help Roseanne with her bad knee by getting her an elevator chair, which she refuses to use because she doesn't want to admit getting old, on the second episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 3 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN, LAURIE METCALF, EMMA KENNEY, SARA GILBERT
ROSEANNE - 'Roseanne Gets the Chair' - Roseanne's clash with Darlene over how she's raising her kids - especially Harris - reaches a breaking point; while Dan tries to help Roseanne with her bad knee by getting her an elevator chair, which she refuses to use because she doesn't want to admit getting old, on the second episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 3 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, JOHN GOODMAN, LAURIE METCALF, ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'Roseanne Gets the Chair' - Roseanne's clash with Darlene over how she's raising her kids - especially Harris - reaches a breaking point; while Dan tries to help Roseanne with her bad knee by getting her an elevator chair, which she refuses to use because she doesn't want to admit getting old, on the second episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 3 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'Eggs Over, Not Easy' - A crucial moment for Becky's surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other's lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie's application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind, on the fourth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 10 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) LAURIE METCALF
ROSEANNE - 'Eggs Over, Not Easy' - A crucial moment for Becky's surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other's lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie's application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind, on the fourth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 10 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON, LAURIE METCALF
ROSEANNE - Iconic comedy series Roseanne returns to The ABC Television Network on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. EDT, with nine new episodes featuring the complete original cast - Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role. New cast joining the one-of-a-kind Conner family includes Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. With fresh stories that tackle todays issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that havent missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of Americas favorite working-class family. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'Eggs Over, Not Easy' - A crucial moment for Becky's surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other's lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie's application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind, on the fourth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 10 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) LECY GORANSON
ROSEANNE - Iconic comedy series Roseanne returns to The ABC Television Network on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. EDT, with nine new episodes featuring the complete original cast - Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role. New cast joining the one-of-a-kind Conner family includes Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. With fresh stories that tackle todays issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that havent missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of Americas favorite working-class family. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN
ROSEANNE - Iconic comedy series Roseanne returns to The ABC Television Network on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. EDT, with nine new episodes featuring the complete original cast - Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role. New cast joining the one-of-a-kind Conner family includes Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. With fresh stories that tackle todays issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that havent missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of Americas favorite working-class family. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN
ROSEANNE - Iconic comedy series Roseanne returns to The ABC Television Network on Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. EDT, with nine new episodes featuring the complete original cast - Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role. New cast joining the one-of-a-kind Conner family includes Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. With fresh stories that tackle todays issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that havent missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of Americas favorite working-class family. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) SARA GILBERT, LAURIE METCALF, ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'No Country for Old Women' - After Beverly gets kicked out of the nursing home, Roseanne and Jackie fight over who will take care of their mother. Meanwhile, Mark's creative touch with building a birdhouse for Dan's customer is more than Dan can handle, but Darlene defends her son, on the sixth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 1 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Greg Gayne/ABC via Getty Images) JOHN GOODMAN, LAURIE METCALF, ROSEANNE BARR
ROSEANNE - 'Darlene v. David' - David unexpectedly shows up for Harris' birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Roseanne and Jackie's mother, Bev, temporarily moves into the Conner home after an incident at the nursing home prevents her from returning, on the fifth episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, APRIL 17 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Greg Gayne/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, ESTELLE PARSONS
ROSEANNE - 'Go Cubs' - The Conners can't pay their Wi-Fi bill, so they befriend their new neighbors to use the internet for Mary to Skype with mom Geena, who is stationed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Dan loses an important job and D.J. admits post-military life has been hard, so they come up with a plan to make extra money, on the seventh episode of the revival of 'Roseanne,' TUESDAY, MAY 8 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR, JOHN GOODMAN
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Congratulations on the ratings and quick renewal. What surprised you about how the show was received?

The size of it. People want to see this dialogue. They want to see a family they can relate to. They wanted to see the Conners again. And it was incredibly gratifying — beyond anything anyone expected — to have this many people watch. It's up to 25 million and we haven't even had the plus-seven [DVR returns] yet.

That's more than the Oscars.

It's a great tribute to the legacy of the show, which was a beloved show back in the day. I was surprised by the number of young people watching it — 7.3 [in the coveted adults 18-49 demo]. I was glad to see that "Oh, networks can't possibly beat cable and raise those kinds of numbers again" is not necessarily the case. I believe that the audience will find a good show wherever it is, which is surprising to say about broadcast because it used to be what people used to say about cable.

Did ABC send you champagne for those kind of numbers?

No, we got a lovely renewal. (Laughs.) That was the big gift. [Exec producer] Tom Werner sent us cookies in the shape of the couch and the crazy chicken shirt the night before. But ABC congratulated us. I think everyone was a little stunned as the numbers started coming in.

How did you feel having Trump take credit for your ratings?

(Laughs.) I remember back in the day on Family Ties [which Helford wrote on], President Reagan wanted to appear on the show. And [creator] Gary David Goldberg, who was a staunch liberal Democrat, said, "No way." The network [NBC] was like, "Are you kidding us? It's the President of the United States who wants to guest star!" I remember Richard Nixon, before he became president, was on Laugh-In. It's always weird when someone at that level weighs in on these kinds of things. In any case, everybody wants to be part of a winner, so everybody sort of jumps in.

What role do you think Barr's personal politics played in the show's success?

I really don't know. I don't discuss her politics, that's her private business. There's Roseanne Barr and then there's Roseanne Conner. There are some similarities and plenty of differences. I honestly think this really was about the show come back into people’s lives. There is a nostalgia factor and the feeling of being accepted among the Conners.

See photos of Roseanne Barr:

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Roseanne Barr through the years
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Roseanne Barr through the years
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Air Date 11/06/1985 -- Pictured: Comedian Roseanne Barr performs on November 6, 1985 (Photo by Gene Arias/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 13 -- Pictured: Roseanne Barr as operator during 'MetroCard' skit on February 16, 1991 -- (Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Pretty in Black' which aired on October 13, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 10/30/1995 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Roseanne Barr during an interview with host Jay Leno on October 30, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
375669 01: 1998 Roseanne Barr Of The Roseanne Show. (Photo By Getty Images)
1998 Roseanne Barr Of The Roseanne Show. (Photo By Getty Images)
E364920 03: Comedienne Roseanne Barr poses with her husband Ben Thomas at the launch of her new CD titled 'I Just Can''t Help Myself' at the Tower Records store in Hollywood, California, February 21, 2000. The star performed with her band 'DiXXX' whom her husband is a member. (Photo by Chris Martinez)
382709 04: Actress Roseanne Barr and her husband Ben Thomas arrive at Project Angel Food''s Eight Annual 'Devine Design' Galla at the Pacific Design Center November 30, 2000 in West Hollywood, CA. The events proceeds go directly to Project Angel Food which provides free nutritional counseling and life-sustaining meals each day to 1,2000 men, women and children disabled by HIV/AIDS. (Photo byNewsmakers)
385218 39: Actress Roseanne Barr attends February 5, 2001 at the Lane Bryant fashion show at Studio 54 in New York City. (Photo by George De Sota/Newsmakers)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 18: Comedian/actress Roseanne Barr poses at the 'Comic Relief 2006' show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 18, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The benefit was held to help families in the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 23: Actress Roseanne Barr (L) with actor Will Ferrell (R) and wife Viveca Paulin arrive at the premiere of 'Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America' held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on October 23, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 04: Actress/writer Roseanne Barr arrives at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr at Hollywood Palladium on August 4, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 04: Roastee Roseanne Barr onstage during the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr at Hollywood Palladium on August 4, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 10: Actress Roseanne Barr attends The Paley Center For Media's 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award announcement at The Paley Center for Media on March 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) Roseanne Barr attends the world premiere of documentary: 'Roseanne For President!' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 10: Actress Roseanne Barr attends The Paley Center For Media's 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award announcement at The Paley Center for Media on March 10, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 23: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival LA Kickoff Reception at The Standard, Hollywood on March 23, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Roseanne Barr (L) attends the cinema prive And PANDORA Jewelry Host A Special Screening Of 'Cake' on November 23, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for cinema prive)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Roseanne Barr (C) and children Jake Pentland (L) and Brandi Brown attend the world premiere of documentary: 'Roseanne For President!' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the photo call for Roseanne Barr's 'Roseanne For President!' at Sundance Sunset Cinema on July 01, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Boardman/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Actress Roseanne Barr attends the photo call for Roseanne Barr's 'Roseanne For President!' at Sundance Sunset Cinema on July 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage,,)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Roseanne Barr attends The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors John Goodman (L) and Roseanne Barr celebrate The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 08: Roseanne Barr attends the Disney ABC Television Group hosts TCA Winter Press Tour 2018 held at The Langham Huntington on January 8, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
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This week's episode touched on a lot of different subjects, namely how parenting strategies have evolved. What do you hope viewers take away from that storyline?

We were excited to deal with how Roseanne perceived Darlene as a parent because she was hell on wheels as a child. We took into consideration where she's at emotionally, having to come back home from Chicago after having had things not go so well there. I personally related because when I was 15, my father lost his job and we had to move from Chicago, where I grew up, to Philadelphia. I remember my father writing me a letter because I was upset at being pulled away from my friends. I remember how important it was to my father that I accepted the change. There is a lot of that going on here with Darlene, having pulled her kids back to a place that's much different than Chicago. The storyline is about what your obligations as a parent are to your kids if things don't go the way that you want and how you deal with that.

There was also a nod to ABC comedies Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat when Roseanne tells Dan, "They're just like us." What are you trying to accomplish with that bit?

We commenting on the fact that all sitcoms really want everybody to feel included of all diversities and it's kind of a funny thing. That's all. When we did the George Lopez show, we didn't want anybody to feel excluded because it was about a Mexican-American family. And I don't think anybody wants to be excluded because it's [a show about] either a black family or an Asian-American family.

There's also a very loaded line of dialogue when Harris says, "I'm hungry now," and Roseanne responds with, "Well, you're a woman in America, get used to it."

It truly is pretty loaded. I think it's a fair comment on the way that women in America have been forced to this very rigid model of being thin. I think acceptance of diverse body shapes and all that is better than it was in the 1960s when Twiggy was considered the model of beauty. That's was what everyone wanted to be and it was so unhealthy. Roseanne is making a comment on what the standard is and how it's sometimes still held to be artificially by magazines and the media.

Season one of Roseanne will never mention Trump by name. Going forward, now that you have the official pickup, will that continue in season two?

We never set out to be a show about politics. We set out to be a show about the Conners and how the current political climate affects the family. We made a point of not mentioning names in the beginning and I believe we will probably maintain that same thing. There is no agenda here, in any direction. The idea is to present all sides of the dialogue. Making it specific like that isn't necessary. That's not what we're doing. We're not talking about the personalities involved. We're talking about the effects of all the politics on the lives of people like the Conners.

When we last spoke, you mentioned DJ's wife and daughter and that dynamics there were something you wanted to really explore more in season two. Now that you have four more episodes for the return, what other subjects and storylines are you looking forward to exploring?

You're going to meet DJ's wife in an episode coming up this season via Skype from Afghanistan. We hope to bring her into the fold and bring her home, if not permanently, at least for a break to visit the family and see the interaction of DJ's wife and daughter and Roseanne as well as DJ's family with his wife's family. This season, we'll also deal with opioids. You can see some of the beginnings of that storyline in this episode with the chair.

See photos from the original "Roseanne" series:

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Roseanne show
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Roseanne show
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24: ROSEANNE - 'The Monday Thru Friday Show' - Season One - 1/24/89, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan (John Goodman) disagree about where to spend a romantic 15th anniversary; Darlene (Sara Gilbert, top left) found her paper route more than she could handle; Becky (Lecy Goranson, top center) refused to dissect a frog in biology class. Laurie Metcalf (Jackie) and Michael Fishman (D.J.) also starred., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 19: ROSEANNE - 'Radio Days' 11/29/88 Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson, Roseanne Bar, Michael Fishman, John Goodman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26: ROSEANNE - 'The Memory Game' 12/13/88 Roseanne Barr, John Goodman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 08: ROSEANNE - gallery - Season Two - 9/8/89, Pictured, from left: Lecy Goranson (Becky), Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Michael Fishman (D.J.), (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 29: ROSEANNE - 'Radio Days' - Season One - 11/29/88, A songwriting contest unleashes creativity in Dan and Roseanne. Pictured: Michael Fishman (D.J.), Lecy Goranson (Becky), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 06: ROSEANNE - 'Lovers' Lane' - Season One - 12/6/88, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) had a salacious bet on the line with Booker (George Clooney) on bowling night., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Pretty in Black' which aired on October 13, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 03: ROSEANNE - 'Dan's Birthday Bash' - Season One - 1/3/89, Becky (Lecy Goranson), Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert) prepared a birthday breakfast for Dan., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do' which aired on February 18, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ROSEANNE BARR;JOHN GOODMAN
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 31: ROSEANNE - 'Bridge Over Troubled Sonny' - Season One - 1/31/89, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf, left) helped Crystal struggle with her husband's death; and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) struggles with the secret she knows about Sonny, that she wants to tell Crystal. , (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 16: ROSEANNE- 'Like, a New Job' 10/9/90 Sara Gilbert (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 04: ROSEANNE- 'The Monday Thru Friday Show' 1/24/89 Roseanne Barr, John Goodman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 02: ROSEANNE - 'Let's Call It Quits' - Season One - 5/2/89, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr, center) had difficulty accepting new rules from a tough new supervisor at the factory. Natalie West (Crystal) and Laurie Metcalf (Jackie) also star., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 11: ROSEANNE - 'Death and Stuff' - Season One - 4/11/89, A door-to-door saleman dropped dead in Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan's (John Goodman) kitchen., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 04: ROSEANNE- 'Like, a Virgin' 10/2/90 Matt Norero, Sara Gilbert (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 03: ROSEANNE - 'Somebody Stole My Gal' - Season Two - 10/3/89, A lonely architect attempts to buy Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan's (John Goodman) friendship with extravagant gifts., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'The Mommy's Curse' which aired on September 21, 1993. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) JOHNNY GALECKI;MICHAEL FISHMAN
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 15: ROSEANNE- 'D-I-V-O-R-C-E' 11/1/88 Roseanne Barr, Michael Fishman (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 06: ROSEANNE - 'Lovers' Lane' - Season One - 12/6/88, Bowling night found a different activity for Roseanne (Roseanne Barr), Becky (Lecy Goranson), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), D.J. (Michael Fishman) and Dan (John Goodman) to engage at the bowling alley. , (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 28: ROSEANNE - 'Dan's Birthday Bash' 1/3/89 Alicia Goranson, Roseanne Barr, Sara Gilbert (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 19: ROSEANNE - 'Sleeper' - Season Seven - 10/19/94, Michael Fishman (D.J.) on the ABC Television Network comedy 'Roseanne'. 'Roseanne' is the story of a working class family struggling with life's essential problems., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 18: ROSEANNE - 'The Test' - Season Three - 9/18/90, Dan (John Goodman), Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and D.J. (Michael Fishman) were on pins and needles when Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) thought that she was pregnant again., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 07: ROSEANNE - 'Scenes from a Barbecue' - Season Three - 5/7/91, Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), Shelley Winters (Nana) on the ABC Television Network comedy 'Roseanne'. 'Roseanne' is the story of a working class family struggling with life's essential problems., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Terms of Estrangement' which aired on September 15, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) GLENN QUINN
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 13: ROSEANNE - 'The Memory Game' - Season One - 12/13/88, Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), Lecy Goranson (Becky), (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
ROSEANNE - 'Terms of Estrangement' which aired on September 15, 1992. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) ALICIA LECY GORANSON;ROSEANNE BARR;JOHN GOODMAN
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: ROSEANNE - 'The Dark Ages' - Season Five - 9/29/92, Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) on the ABC Television Network comedy 'Roseanne'. Dan and Roseanne look at Darlene in a new light after David spends the night., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
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As in the chair that Roseanne uses to get up the stairs because she has a bad knee.

I didn't hide that one very well! We'll be dealing with that and the healthcare issues that surround that. It's not going to be "issue of the week," but we definitely cover a lot of topics that people in America are dealing with everyday.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said that a decision about whether Roseanne returns in the fall or midseason has yet to be made as it will depend on returning shows, new series pickups, etc. Given the choice, which would you prefer?

A lot of this will depend on people's personal schedules because there were no deals for anyone to return after the first group of eight episodes. No one was committing beyond that. Personally, I would like to be on the fall schedule.

An Elle column and subsequent remarks from its author — and multiple people within ABC — feel the show "ignores the very real racism of many white working-class families" and exists to monetizeTrump's base. Thoughts?

Just keep watching the show.

Do you feel like there's truth to any of those remarks?

I'll just say keep watching the show. We certainly deal with some of those things, but monetizing Trump's base? No. We have no agenda, one direction or the other, in terms of anything regarding the show, but we do deal with aspects of how the Conners perceive people who are different than they are.

What sort of conversations has the network had with you about Barr's political commentary on social media?

I'm not familiar with any conversations regarding that. There may have been some, but I'm not familiar with it.

Photos surfaced on Friday with Barr dressed up as Hitler and holding burned cookies that she's taking out of an oven. Have you and Barr and her team had any kind of conversation about how her social media posts — sharing conspiracy theories, etc. — impact the message that you're trying to send with the show? Do her social media posts take away from what the show is trying to say?

All I can say on that is that I was listening to a CNN discussion and the subject came up of her personal politics and the attitude was generally, look, everybody's got the right to say what they're gonna say and that's not what the show is. The show is not representing her personal politics. The Conners were Bill Clinton voters back in the day. Those people have very heavily shifted toward Trump. We did our due diligence on what all that would be about. And the show, aside from the fact that Roseanne Barr and Roseanne Conner both happen to be Trump supporters, has been borne out to be pretty realistic, in terms of the demographics of that area [the Midwest]. But aside from that, there's a big difference between anyone's personal politics and what the show is about. They're not meant to be interrelated in any way.

How do you feel seeing the star of your show dressed as a Nazi?

I know that Roseanne is a very staunch supporter of Israel and she has said as much. I imagine there's probably some amount of parody involved and all that. I don't know the context of that so I wouldn't make a comment on it. My feeling is that people should just watch the show and judge it on its merits. Watch the show without the accompanying background noise. Everybody, including Roseanne, wanted the show to be balanced. When we talk about wanting to open a dialogue in America, that's something that the show does. We're not trying to perform brain surgery or cure cancer. We all hoped that this would open a dialogue where people would start laughing at themselves a little bit, get a little less polarized and realize that this is a universal conversation. Lots of families find themselves divided on these issues. There's got to be a way to talk and still love each other the way that Roseanne and Jackie made their peace [in the revival's premiere]. And that's really what we want to have come out of it.

So, how do you get people who are turned off by your star's politics to watch?

There should be an understanding that there is a difference between people's personal politics and what you present onscreen. We're hopefully presenting a wonderful, balanced show that doesn’t have an agenda. But beyond that, anybody can dig into anybody's stuff and find stuff. But if her politics bothers them, then they shouldn’t watch the show. That's OK. Nobody is making anybody watch the show. We consider ourselves guests in the public's home and as guests we know that people have the option to turn it off if they don't want to watch.

Roseanne airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Bookmark THR.com/Roseanne for complete coverage.

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