Roseanne Barr says call with Trump was 'exciting' and 'sweet' after show's ratings-busting return

Roseanne Barr comments on the ratings-busting return of "Roseanne."

March 29, 2018, 7:40 AM

Roseanne Barr said it was "exciting" and "sweet" for President Donald Trump to call and congratulate her on the record-breaking return of "Roseanne," on a phone call today with "Good Morning America."

"It was pretty exciting, I'll tell you that much," Barr said of the call. "They said, 'Hold please for the president of the United States of America' and [that] was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us."

"Roseanne," featuring the same sarcastic, blue-collar family from the original series, opened as the season's top premiere and as Tuesday's highest-rated entertainment telecast in six years. An estimated 18.2 million viewers watched the show's premiere -- 10 percent more than the 1997 finale, according to The Nielsen Company.

The show was widely praised for fairly portraying a family with differing political views. Barr was reportedly adamant that her TV persona be a President Donald Trump supporter, like she is in real life.

Laurie Metcalf, who plays Roseanne's sister Jackie, clashes with her on political issues. The rest of the Conner family have various political beliefs, but the show is more about family than politics.

PHOTO: The cast of "Roseanne."
The cast of "Roseanne."

Barr said that Trump is "happy for her" regarding the show's success.

"I've known him for many years and he's done a lot of nice things for me over the years," she told George Stephanopoulos on "GMA." "It was just a friendly conversation about working and television and ratings. He really understands ratings and how they measure things."

PHOTO: Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and Roseanne Barr appear in a scene from "Roseanne."
Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and Roseanne Barr appear in a scene from "Roseanne."

She added: "I'm just over the moon at the support of the 'Roseanne' family, the Conners and people liking our show. All the cast, we just celebrate together and say, 'Oh, the Conners are back' and we're all really happy."

Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene, told ABC Radio that she's excited that the new Roseanne isn't shy about showing views that are different from those usually seen on TV.

"Each side, we're both guilty of being so afraid of the other side's point of view, and not talking to each other and assuming everybody aligns 100 percent with their candidate, instead of seeing what each individual's point of view is," she said.

The reboot ignites important conversations about how to talk to your kids and grandkids about gender identity.

Gilbert, who is also a producer on the show, spoke out to Entertainment Weekly about her character's son, Mark, played by Ames McNamara.

"He's a little boy. He's based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing," she said. "He's too young to be gay and he doesn't identify as transgender."

Barr said she thinks "Roseanne" is addressing issues that aren't being seen in movies and television.

"The idea that people can agree to disagree is kind of missing from everything," Barr said. "I think that's a conflict resolution."

More of that approach is necessary, she feels.

"I haven't seen much of that anywhere," she continued. "That's what we need to do as a country is figure out what we don't like, talk to each other and discuss how we're going to get it changed or fixed."

She added, "I really hope that it opens up civil conversation between people instead of just of mud-slinging. I really do because I think we need to be more civilized in that."

ABC News' Luchina Fisher and Stephen Iervolino contributed to this report.

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