How George Clooney Got Roseanne Barr In Trouble With ABC In Roseanne's First Season

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman in a still from the Roseanne revival
(Image credit: ABC)

Before Roseanne returned for its blockbuster reboot, the original series ran for almost ten years. While out promoting the revival of the popular sitcom, which debuted to huge ratings in its premiere, the series' star Roseanne Barr reminisced about the show's original run. Among the actors who had roles on the original series was George Clooney. He starred in eleven episodes over the course of the show's first four seasons. Barr recently shared a few stories from Clooney's time on the original Roseanne, including his reaction to a gift Barr received from ABC. The ensuing shenanigan got Barr in some hot water with the network. Here's what happened:

The show went to #1 in its third episode; it premiered in the top ten though. But anyway, George knows everybody. He goes, 'They fucking gave what's-his-face a Rolls Royce on this network.' . . . . He goes, 'Let's go out, and I'll throw [the chocolate #1] in there, and you hit it with a bat and then we'll send a picture to the president of the network. . . . That caused a lot of problems for me. I should not have sent that picture. But it's so funny.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, RoseanneBarr also revealed that George Clooney passed on the opportunity to make a guest appearance on the reboot. There on no hard feelings on Barr's side, though. She went on to express how much she still loved the actor. Clooney's pranks didn't end with the picture of Barr hitting the chocolate with a bat. Barr also told another story during her appearance, saying,

And also, remember that old show where Sandy Duncan replaced Valerie Harper? So, George would, when I'd go to my dressing room every day, it would say Sandy Duncan over my name. [laughs]

Roseanne did not need George Clooney to return to ABC with ratings gold. Much like the original, the revival debuted to huge, record ratings. Ratings were not the only the thing Roseanne accomplished. The reboot covered a lot of story in its debut episodes. It brought Dan Conner (John Goodman) back to life, despite his being killed off in the original series' finale, and sort of reunited the "two Beckys."

george clooney on roseanne

It is unclear why George Clooney didn't want to return to Roseanne. Roseanne Barr did mention his living in Italy, which is a possible explanation. Back in 2009, Clooney guest starred on the other show that helped put him on the map. As ER was closing its doors, Clooney returned to reprise his role as Dr. Doug Ross, giving fans another piece of closure as the medical drama drew to a close. Could George Clooney change his mind about making a guest appearance on the reboot, given the success of the premiere? Only time will tell.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.