'Roseanne' disappearing off airwaves including Atlanta-based Laff

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

It happened to "The Cosby Show" after the 2014 revelations about Bill Cosby drugging women and assaulting them. It happened to repeats of "7th Heaven" after lead actor Stephen Collins confessed to sexual abuse of underage girls. And now "Roseanne" is disappearing off the airwaves after Roseanne Barr's racist tweet comparing a black female Obama advisor to an ape.

Disney, which canceled the revamped version of the show Tuesday hours after the Tweet, quickly scrubbed the show off its ABC website. Hulu soon followed suit in terms of repeats from the 1990s. Plus, the Atlanta-based Laff network dropped the original run of "Roseanne" off its schedule. Laff airs many sitcoms from the past 35 years including "The Drew Carey Show," "That '70s Show," "Spin City," "Grace Under Fire" and "Night Court." TV Land and CMT, which also aired repeats of "Roseanne," scrubbed the show off their schedules as well.

“While we believe viewers have always distinguished the personal behavior of the actress Roseanne Barr from the television character Roseanne Connor, we are disgusted by Barr’s comments this week,” Laff said in a statement. “Therefore, we are removing the original 'Roseanne' series from the Laff schedule for the time being, effective immediately."

But "Roseanne" will likely come back at some point based on what happened to both "The Cosby Show" and "7th Heaven," the wholesome drama about a preacher's family. Many fans are apparently able to separate a show from its actors' actions.

In late 2016, Atlanta-based Bounce TV brought back "The Cosby Show" based on popular demand after pulling it in 2014 when dozens of women publicly announced they were attacked by Cosby. But then Bounce dropped "Cosby" again last month after Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. We'll see how long it takes before the show comes back yet again.

Atlanta-based Up TV yanked "7th Heaven" repeats in 2014 following Collins' child-molestation confession but six months later brought it back.

UP GM Amy Winter said at the time: "We also did some research and found that everybody was like, 'You know what? This is a great family show. It shouldn’t suffer. I would like to watch it. I'd like to watch it with my family. I can get over it.' And that actually resonated."

The show continued to air on Up for awhile but is currently not on the schedule. "7th Heaven" is available now on Hulu streaming services.

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.