Roseanne Barr probably made heads at the ABC network turn a shade grayer Tuesday when she declared that she is leaving television.
Her comments came during a taped interview with "Today Show" correspondent Jim Brown, who asked about her future in TV if the movie "She Devil," which opens Friday, is a hit. Barr co-stars in the film with Meryl Streep.
"I'm outta there," a straight-faced Barr replied. "That's what happens." The star of the ABC series "Roseanne" added that when "I'm in my 60s and past menopause" she may go back into TV, "like so many other stars have."
Just in case anyone missed her point, Barr said that she was leaving TV even if the movie bombs. "I'm going to leave TV anyway. What the hell." An incredulous Brown then asked if she was pulling his leg. She answered, "I'll be OK whatever I do."
Barr might be OK, but ABC is another story--assuming, of course, she is serious. The network has bet its future on the hit show, "Roseanne," which also stars John Goodman. In much the same way Bill Cosby helped resurrect the once-lame NBC, Roseanne Barr is doing the same for ABC.
The ABC show got about $375,000 from advertisers for every 30-second commercial during November, compared to $300,000 for "The Cosby Show." "Roseanne" has been the top-rated show since the season began Sept. 18, though "Cosby" is a close second.
ABC declined comment on Barr's apparent desire to leave television. She is in the midst of a five-year contract with Carsey-Werner Productions, the maker of "Roseanne." Barr has apparently never before publicly said that she wanted to get out of television.
Barr could not be reached for comment. Her publicist in New York, Cindi Studin, who said that she had not actually seen the interview, claimed that Barr's statements were misconstrued due to the editing of the interview.
Arlene Rothberg, the comedienne's manager in Los Angeles, also declined comment.