Every weekday, tens of millions of Americans will gather 'round their television sets and spend an hour with their favorite warm and fuzzy talk-show host, Roseanne.
Hmmmm. That's a little hard to wrap your brain around.Roseanne as a talk-show host. It's a concept that still sort of boggles the mind, doesn't it? But it's true. Her nationally syndicated program, cleverly titled "The Roseanne Show," debuts Monday and will be seen locally at 2:30 p.m. on KUTV-Ch. 2.
Maybe it would be a bit easier to believe if Roseanne was planning to preside over a three-ring freak fest like "The Jerry Springer Show." She would, perhaps, seem right at home in such a venue.
But Roseanne insists that's not what her show will be.
"I think there are a lot of shows on television that show us all how low we can go. And instead of that, I'd like to go the opposite way and show how high we can go," Roseanne said.
OK . . .
Actually, we're not to worry about Roseanne's abilities as a hostess and interviewer.
"I've been practicing talking and interviewing people," she said. "It's a whole different arena and a whole different venue to learn. There's rules and I'm trying to learn the rules."
And we're promised that the guests will all be articulate.
"It's not so much that I have something to say, it's this show has something to say," Roseanne said. "And I have a lot to do just listening and making sure that it is said or able to be said."
OK . . .
And, while both Roseanne and her producers seemed largely incapable of providing any specifics about what the show will include, the star did emphasize that she's going to focus on child-rearing.
"I have children who are grown - children I let live through their teenage years and actually have grown into remarkable human beings," she said.
She did not, however, exactly elicit confidence in her own child-rearing skills.
"I think it's kind of easy to have little kids because it doesn't matter what you do," Roseanne said. "You can leave them with the nanny. And all that stuff doesn't show up until they're 13 and then you've got to pay the karmic price for about 10 years."
OK . . . so much for warm and fuzzy.
LOCAL VS. LOCAL: Roseanne, a native of Salt Lake City who has never had much good to say about her home state, isn't the only native Utahn who has her own daytime talk show this fall. Among her competitors is the new "Donny & Marie" show.
Other than the obvious differences between the Osmonds and Roseanne, there was another big difference between the shows - how badly the local stations wanted them. There isn't a local station that didn't want "Donny & Marie," with KSTU-Ch. 13 coming out the winner only because the Fox-owned station group had the clout of guaranteeing the show a spot on its New York, Chicago and Los Angeles outlets.
On the other hand, there wasn't a great deal of enthusiasm for "The Roseanne Show." As a matter of fact, the folks from King World who came to town trying to sell the show were laughed out of more than one station manager's office.
So how did it end up on Ch. 2? Because the CBS-owned station group bought "The Roseanne Show" and KUTV was just part of a much larger deal.
ANOTHER CONTRAST: Whereas Donny and Marie Osmond came before television critics recently armed with clips from their practice shows and a specific vision of what they were going to do with their show, Roseanne and her producers seemed rather clueless.
No clips. No specifics. And, seemingly, no clue, despite the show having been in development for a year and a half.
"We're going to do multiple topics and it's going to be a lot of comedy," Roseanne said. "So it's kind of a little bit of everybody, a little bit of everything. We'll a little bit like Oprah and a little bit like Rosie and we'll have a little bit like blah, blah, blah. We're going to do a lot of different things."
My, how inspiring.
TAKING A SHOT: Roseanne, who was known for battling with and firing a number of producers during her sitcom days, apparently isn't completely over the bitterness that developed.
"I think I've learned how important it is to be able to delegate," she said of her role on her talk show, on which she's credited as an executive producer. "I didn't really know how to do that too well on my `Roseanne' show. But I didn't have the caliber of producers on that show that I have on this one."
Those producers included series creator Matt Williams and a guy by the name of Tom Arnold - her second husband, whom she has since divorced.