Some of the Conners voted for Trump
Barr was an outspoken, opinionated woman during Roseanne's original run, but now fans have access to her daily thoughts on social media, including her support of Donald Trump. Don't expect the revival to silence its star. Roseanne Conner also voted for Trump.
It makes sense for the Conners. They voted for the guy who promised jobs. As for where those jobs are a year later, the show doesn't ask those political questions.
"The show doesn't stay on the political aspects," Helford said. "It stays more on the interfamily aspect of everything. As those things come up, everybody's got their positions but it's much more about the internal family dealings, even as that was. It was ultimately about the fact that Roseanne had made Jackie doubt her decisions and she ended up voting for Jill Stein. That's more where it goes."
Perhaps Roseanne Conner has a more tempered support than the actual Barr.
"She's still who she is, but her positions are definitely not typical of a person who has given carte blanche to whatever Trump does," Helford said. "She's not that kind of person. There are things she believes, doesn't believe, agrees, doesn't agree."
They rehired the writers of Roseanne's best seasons
Helford was head writer of the original Roseanne's fifth season, when the show was at its peak. Both Barr and Metcalf won Emmys for that season and the show won its second Peabody. Hired to run the new Roseanne, Helford's job was to reassemble as close to the original team as possible.
"I put together a group of people from the original staff, Bruce Rasmussen, Dave Caplan, Sid Youngers, Betsy Borns, Norm MacDonald, [and] brought in Wanda Sykes," Helford said. "Whitney Cummings joined us, Morgan Murphy and a couple other newcomers. So it was a mixture of vets and people who would bring a fresh perspective to it."
Roseanne always had a huge writers room because Barr was a stand-up. She would often fill the room with fresh blood from the clubs.
"There was a period where we had 16 writers my season there," Helford said. "We're down to about eight or nine people which I think is about right. In the old days, Roseanne would hire a lot of stand-ups; she wanted me or whoever the head writer was to groom into becoming storytellers for the future of the show. We had a lot more people, usually a good seven stand-ups who were not writer writers who were just learning."
If you include Helford and Barr herself, that's seven of the original writers here to ensure Roseanne 2018 still feels like Roseanne circa 1993. And the ninth episode leaves room for another season.
"I'll only say this," Helford said. "Nothing is wrapped up neatly, but it's satisfying."
Roseanne premieres again on ABC Tuesday, March 27.