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TV revivals and reboots are nothing new, but rarely do those kinds of projects match the success of their former iterations. That's not exactly the case with ABC's Roseanne, whose revival premiere was watched by more people than its previous season finale back in 1997. One might think that everyone involved with the original series would be jumping at the chance to return for another go, regardless of how big or small the role was. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with superstar George Clooney, who recurred on the sitcom's first season. Here's how Roseanne Barr put it:
Well, George Clooney didn't want to come on, so that was a bummer. So I thought, 'Well, he lives in Italy, so...' . . . Yeah, he said some really silly things about me, but I still love him.
Personally, I'm always disappointed when George Clooney doesn't show up somewhere that I'd like him to, but Roseanne Barr had a much more legitimate reason to reach out to the Oscar-winning filmmaker. Since Roseanne's new season is filled to the brim with returning characters young and old, it makes sense that the Barr and the other producers would cast a wide net, hoping to draw in everyone they possibly could from the sitcom's initial run. After all, there are no guarantees of more happening, so going as big as possible with these nine episodes makes the most sense.
But rather than sitting on the edge of his seat waiting for Roseanne Barr to call, George Clooney is currently happily married and raising children in Italy, which makes popping back for a Roseanne cameo kind of burdensome; not to mention all of his other responsibilities. In making this reveal on The Howard Stern Show, Barr didn't offer up any specific reasoning for why he declined the offer to return, and she also didn't detail the "silly things" he's said about her in the past. Perhaps she's talking about the story he reportedly told about her humorously propositioning him for sex when he joined the sitcom. Or perhaps it has to do with more political subject matter. Either way, we're not going there.
As fans of the original's early days will probably remember, George Clooney joined Roseanne's first season as his first big TV role after The Facts of Life. In the show, he played Wellman Plastics' original foreman Booker Brooks, who had a short-time fling with Jackie. Booker was replaced at the end of Season 1, and Clooney only reprised the role one more time, for the Season 4 installment "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down," in which he made a surprise appearance as the moose-costumed man Jackie was flirting with at the costume party.
It was definitely great to see everyone back on the slightly different (but still homely as hell) Roseanne set, and we missed those that weren't there. But hey, maybe if there's another season, George Clooney will rethink his options about returning. Until that happens, be sure to watch Roseanne every Tuesday night on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET. And hit up our midseason premiere schedule to see everything that's still on the way.