President Donald Trump reached out to Roseanne Barr to congratulate her after the debut of her ABC sitcom reboot drew 18.4 million viewers.
Speaking by telephone Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Barr said the call was “pretty exciting.” She described the exchange as a “friendly conversation about working in television and ratings.”
Barr, who said she has known Trump for years, is a political supporter of the president’s. Her revamped sitcom tackles current politics, with Roseanne embracing Trump, and clashing with her sister, a staunch opponent.
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The White House confirmed the Wednesday night phone call, which was first reported by The New York Times. They did not say if Trump had watched the show. But the former reality star is keenly interested in ratings. The updated sitcom starring Roseanne Barr returned Tuesday, more than two decades after the original ended its hit run. The hour-long debut episode was watched by 10 percent more viewers than saw the May 1997 finale of ABC’s original “Roseanne
Barr said Trump was happy for her. She said, “I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years.”
Conservatives cheered the show’s ratings. Matt Drudge tweeted: “‘ROSEANNE’ RATINGS BLOWOUT.” Donald Trump, the president’s son, tweeted “Wow amazing. Congrats @therealroseanne. If you’re not too busy already maybe work in a late night show too … seems there’s some demand for an alternate viewpoint.” Laura Ingraham added: “‘Roseanne’ reboot premieres to strong ratings, begging the question: why has Hollywood been ignoring us for so long?”
During a Q&A session with television critics earlier this year, Barr said, “It was working-class people who elected Trump. So I felt that was very real, and something that needed to be discussed.”
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She added that the same holds true for “people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American. And so I wanted to bring it (the series) right down the middle, and we did,” said Barr.
She added that she’s not an apologist for the president and doesn’t agree with all he’s said and done.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.