Roseanne season 11 will lose showrunner Whitney Cummings

One of the key figures in making the Roseanne revival a ratings smash is walking away from the show.

While Roseanne Barr brought back the original cast and many classic writers for her reinvention of the ’90s sitcom, the most high-profile new creative voice has been comic and actress Whitney Cummings as co-showrunner.

Cummings has famously starred in her own network TV comedy, NBC’s Whitney, hosted the late-night comedy series Love You, Mean It and co-created 2 Broke Girls — so she brought a definite pedigree to the Roseanne writing room.

The sitcom will have to carry on without Cummings because Bruce Helford told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday (May 18) that her busy schedule won’t allow her to return for the 11th season.

“I think Whitney is going to be too busy,” Helford said. “Whitney is always a member of the family of the show but she’s got so much going on. I don’t know how she had time to work on the show in the first place. I don’t think she’ll be able to join us in the capacity she was joining us in this first season.”

Cummings later said in a statement: “Working on Roseanne was a surreal, incredible experience. Due to work commitments and my tour schedule, I’m gonna have to watch the Conners from the sidelines next season.

“It was an honour to work with such an incredibly talented group of actors, writers and crew. Harvey Levin [of TMZ], you can stop calling my cell phone now.”

Cummings has made no secret of the fact that she moderated Barr’s conservative political views in the writers’ room throughout the current season, describing herself as the representative for the “PC police”.

Just this past week, ABC was forced to defend jokes made on Roseanne about Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat — both shows with diverse casts — after a backlash from the African-American and Asian-American communities.

Roseanne will return this fall on ABC, airing on Tuesdays at 8pm ET. An exact premiere date will be announced nearer to the transmission date.

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