'Roseanne' Cast Reveals Behind-The-Scenes Drama Almost Led to Season One Cancellation

The countdown to the Roseanne reboot is on.

The stars of the beloved ABC sitcom sat down with Joy Behar during a special 20/20 Thursday to spill secrets about the show back in the day.

"We answer all of the questions people have asked me for twenty years," Roseanne Barr said at the beginning of the special, and it delivered.

It's been 20 years since Roseanne has been on the air, and during the ABC special, producers dished on how the hit series almost didn't make it past season 1.

"On set, the cast found chemistry and comedy, but behind-the-scenes, there is drama, lots of it." Behar said.

"They knew they had someone really special here, but they also had somebody that wasn't used to the words of television and who was not going to be easy to work with," TV Guide critic Matt Roush said, referring to Barr.

Roseanne executive producer Tom Werner said that when they were editing the pilot, he called Barr to say how great things were going, when the star said she "didn't think [she] wanted to do any more episodes."

"Big trouble, the network wants to pull the plug, Roseanne hates the script, the writer hates Roseanne, it's a mess," Former writer and producer Danny Jacobson said.

Barr's stubbornness would lead to a feud between herself and creator Matt Williams. Barr wanted full creative control over the series, leading to tension on the set.

"I remember he threw over a table and chairs and said, 'I am not a scribe.'" Barr said.

Tensions grew higher after the pilot premiered and Barr noticed Williams was credited as the sole creator of the show, and at a time where women did not have much power in Hollywood there was not much she could do about it.

"People told me that he was keeping a list of all the offensive things I did so that he could replace me, and it included belching and things like that," Barr said laughing.

In the end, Williams left the series over creative differences, moving on to create the hit show Home Improvement with Tim Allen.


"I knew I would have the last word and I always did," Barr said.

Roseanne will be back with all new episodes Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.