White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to The New York Times that Trump called to pat Barr on the back for the successful return of her comedy, Roseanne, to primetime TV and to thank her for her support.
The president was enthralled by the "huge" ratings Roseanne had received, a person familiar with the call told The New York Times. The show's first episode, broadcast Tuesday on ABC, averaged 18.2 million viewers.
"It was pretty exciting, I'll tell you that much," Barr said of Trump's call. "They said, 'Hold please for the president of the United States of America' and [that] was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us."
The comedy centered around a working-class family of five and their assorted relatives, returned to the air this week more than two decades after it ended its nine-season run. Barr's character is a Trump supporter while her sister, Jackie Harris (Laurie Metcalf), is a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter — though ultimately voted for Jill Stein.
Barr herself has been a vocal defender of Trump, and says that she decided to turn her character, Roseanne Conner, into a Trump backer because she felt it was an "accurate portrayal" of the political preferences of many working-class Americans.
“I just wanted to have that dialogue about families torn apart by the election and their political differences of opinion and how we handle it,” she told the Times on Tuesday. “I thought that this was an important thing to say at this time.”
"Wow amazing. Congrats [Roseanne Barr]. If you're not too busy already maybe work in a late night show too... seems there's some demand for an alternate viewpoint," Trump Jr. wrote in a tweet quoting numbers for the premiere.
Ahead of Tuesday's episode, Barr hinted that there may be viewpoints that aren't represented in other shows.
"[We're] just going to show a realistic depiction of this family and, you know, they have so much in common with other American families," the actress said. "Everybody's mad at everybody so we'll find a way through and hopefully other people will too."
John Goodman, who plays Dan Conner, also talked about the decision to address politics on the series, explaining that "because things that affect families in middle America, they're going to affect us and we want to be not demonstrating but just showing how it affects a family who is living paycheck to paycheck, how they handle these things, and how much they have to forget just to get through the day."0comments
Roseanne's return to television answered many questions had ahead of the premiere, including how the show addressed Dan's (Goodman) "death," showed where DJ is 20 years later and saw many jokes about the 2016 presidential election.
Roseanne airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.