“Roseanne” Show Behind-the-Scenes: Iconic Show’s Stories Fans Might Not Know

"Rosanne" was one of the first sitcoms to feature a realistically portrayed blue-collar American family with two parents working outside the home. Lead by the 'in-your-face' voice of actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, the show became the number 1 sitcom in America for two out of its first nine seasons.
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TV guide has since included the show as one of the 60 Best Sitcoms of All Time. The show went off the air in 1997 but its success in syndication prompted for a reboot to be made. In 2018, Rosanne was brought back to life with all the original cast reprising there roles. Here are some stories about the show that every fan should know!

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THE TALE OF TWO BECKYS 

One of the most amazing and unique phenomenons on "Roseanne" is the timeless tale of the two Beckys. During the show's original nine-season run, two young actresses played the role of Roseanne's daughter Becky. While it's not unheard of for a character to be recast after an actress leaves, this story has a unique spin to it.

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The first actress to play Becky is Alicia Goranson. She played the character for the first five seasons, up until Goroanson had to attend Vasser College. Originally, the character was written to move out of the Conner household to live with her husband, Mark, but the show-runners didn't want to let go of Becky, so they cast Sarah Chalke instead.

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Sounds pretty standard right? Nope, the two Beckys story is just starting. Apparently, Goranson’s contract included the option to return to the show if her schedule from college permitted. So in season 8, after 2 whole seasons away she reprised her role as Roseanne's daughter on the show. But what happened to Sarah Chalke, you might ask?

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She continued to play Becky too. Wait. There were really two Beckys? Yes and no, while the writers couldn't magically make a second Becky appear as a character on the show, the show-runners decided that the two young actresses would switch every now and then. Goranson played the character when her schedule allowed it, with Chalke picking up the slack.

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IT WAS A RUNNING JOKE

For the whole of season 8, the writers and the cast would turn their unique predicament of having two Beckys a running gag on the show. Goranson however, left after again after that season. This allowed Chalke to take sole ownership of the role for the whole of season 9, which would be their last for a while.

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Both actresses who played Becky ended up having long and successful acting careers. Alicia Goranson's first acting gig was on the show, it opened up doors for her, despite taking a break to go to college. She has appeared in films like "How to Make an American Quilt", "Boys Don't Cry", and starred in "Love, Ludlow."

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Before joining the cast of the show and becoming the second "Becky", Sara Chalke was featured in tv movie "City Boy." While playing Becky and interchanging with Goranson, the actress would be cast in several tv movies. She is most famous for her role on the hit sitcom "Scrubs" and for her recurring role as 'Stella' on "How I Met Your Mother."

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THE TWO BECKYS COMING BACK

When it was announced that "Roseanne" was being rebooted and the original cast was going to reprise their roles. Goranson told US Weekly when she received the call to return for the “Roseanne” reboot, she asked for the show-runners to bring back Chalke as well. What an amazing gesture.

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While this meant that the two Beckys gag won't be played anymore, a new character had to be written into the show for Chalke. Entertainment Weekly reported that executive produces Tom Werner, Sara Gilbert and Whitney Cummings came up with a new role for the actress, Amanda, the woman who hires Becky to be her surrogate. Brillant.

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BECKY AND DARLENE WERE A COUPLE OF TROUBLEMAKERS

Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene in both the original show and in the reboot, has moved up to being an executive producer for the reboot. She told ABC News that she and the first Becky, Goransons were actually the same age, so they got really close and would spend a lot of time together.

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“Lecy and I spent more time together because we were in school together,” Gilbert said. “I remember early on, the electricians and stuff had a bunch of tape on the set, and we would take those, and ball up the tape into a soccer ball, or make an eight ball, that you played pool with. 

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Then, finally, production had to talk to us, and say, ‘You guys are using way too much tape. Or we would steal the golf carts, and drive around the lot. We were kids, so we would do little things like that,” she added. What else are a couple of kids to do in a tv set full of adults, right?

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Gilbert's run on the original show earned her two Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at such a young age. She has been on several popular tv shows over the years like "24", "Twins" and "ER". She's also recognized for her recurring role on hit sitcom as 'Leslie Winkle' on "The Big Bang Theory."

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She has successfully ventured into the world of television show production as she has served as the executive producer of the long-running daytime talk show "The Talk" which has earned her a couple of Daytime Emmy Awards. She is also the executive producer of the "Roseanne" reboot and its spin-off "The Connors."

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THE SHOW HAD SOME HEAVY HITTING GUEST STARS

Another amazing fact about "Roseanne" is that the show's popularity may have contributed to it being a launching pad for the careers of more than a few future household names. They include the likes of heavy hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Alyson Hannigan all made appearances on the original series.

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BALLING WITH CLOONEY

It might surprise you that the George Clooney had a recurring role in the first season of the show. The future Oscar winner played the factory manager where Roseanne worked but asked to leave the show after the first season. Goranson recalls spending time with him saying "We used to play basketball together. He is cute and charming and fun."

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LANDING A ROLE WITH A JOKE

Michael Fishman was only 6 years old when he auditioned for the role of D.J. Conner, the youngest of Rosanne's children on the show. When he walked in, he asked Barr if she would like to hear a joke. He asked "Why did the turtle cross the road?’ And the punchline was ‘chicken’s day off,’” Fishman said.

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Barr responded with "You're hired." She told ABC News "Just the audaciousness to say that to someone. I was blown away.” Fishman also recalled "It was the absolute first thing I had done [in acting],” Fishman added. “It was a life-changer.” Amazing move on the part of the then-young actor. 

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SARAH CHALKE'S FIRST EPISODE

Remember when I said that the writers and the cast made it a running gag that there were two Beckys on the show? Well, they certainly didn't waste any time doing so. Chalke recalls her first episode as Becky, "The first episode that I did, they had us all watching an episode of ‘Bewitched’ at the end.”

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“Roseanne says, ‘I can't believe they switched that Darrin.’ And Metcalf says, ‘Well, it was a hit show. They knew they could get away with anything.’ Then I say, ‘Well, I definitely like the second Darrin much better.’ So they always found ways to wink at the audience, and not shy away from the fact of what we were doing.”

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THAT CONNER FAMILY COUCH

"Roseanne" was so popular that even the family's couch, that sat in their living room, became an icon as well. It was so popular that the show-runners of the reboot wanted to have it back on the show. They tracked it down and found out that the couch had ended up as part of someone's private collection. 

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This prompted for a replica to be made or the reboot. There was only one couch used on the original run of the show, but several afghan blankets were used over the years, which also became a staple of the Conner family room set. Laurie Metcalf who plays Roseanne's sister even recalled that the blankets made their show more relateable.

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She said, “I believe the afghan just showed up on the set and probably everybody, all the viewers who saw the pilot, probably said, I'm just guessing, ‘I've got that afghan. It's on my couch,’ she continued with "It's pretty brilliant of the set designers to have done that, who knew that it would become iconic, you know.”

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Were you a fan of the original run of "Roseanne"? Or did you join the bandwagon during the reboot and subsequent spin-off? Which of these amazing facts about the show catch you by surprise the most? Let us know in the comment section and don't forget to stay tuned for more great content on your favorite celebs, tv shows, and movies, only here on Amomama!

Source: ABC News, The Wrap, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly

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