Jimmy Kimmel absolutely slew during his appearance at the 2019 ABC upfront presentation. The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live took the stage for 15 minutes and didn't hesitate to target some of the network's own talents — and some former ones — while on stage. Constance Wu's Twitter outburst, The Bachelor franchise, and Roseanne Barr were all topics during the comedian's annual roast of the network.
It was Kimmel's 16th upfront appearance for the network and many likely knew what to expect. But with so many headlines over the past year, the ammunition was heavy for the late-night host.
Despite being canceled by the network, Roseanne got a key mention from Kimmel along with some of ABC's recent sitcoms.
"What a year it’s been for all of us. I mean, Roseanne is gone and the measles are back," Kimmel said from the stage at the Lincoln Center. "Remember last year when you got you all excited for Take-Two and The Kids Are Alright and Roseanne and Speechless? Well, 'canceled,' 'canceled,' 'racist,' 'canceled.'"
He followed that jab with some new suggestions for The Bachelor and its sister show going forward.
"But we still have the Bachelor franchise. Like the genital herpes it thrives on, The Bachelor will never go away," the host said. "Last year, we had a virgin bachelor, which was great, so next year to kind of mix things up, we’re going the other way. We got ourselves a real live truck-stop prostitute."
While it is a joke, Kimmel is the latest ABC personality to poke hard at the reality franchise and its reputation on the network. Kelly Ripa criticized the show and shared her dislike for the franchise, earning some criticism from the creatives behind the reality series and some defense from Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo.
Another controversy that got some attention during the upfront was the tweets by Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu.
"Fresh Off the Boat has been renewed for season number six," Kimmel started with. "[Moments] after the renewal was announced, one of the stars of the show, Constance Wu tweeted, 'So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F—.' Only on ABC is getting your show picked up the worst thing that could happen to you. Sorry, Constance. At least you got 9,300 likes."
Other topics that Kimmel hit on this year included the end of Modern Family and the lack of hit sitcoms ABC has seen in recent years. Kenya Barris' new spin-off prequel Mixed-ish, leading to Kimmel pointing out that ABC has Black-ish, Grown-ish, and Jew-ish.
"I'm sorry, The Goldbergs," Kimmel corrected himself.
One of the bigger changes this year was the addition of the Fox merger into the discussion. Another change is Netflix's rise in the TV game — and its poaching of executives and creatives from the old TV networks. ABC and Disney are ready to strike back with their own streaming service this fall, so expect to see some different jokes next year.