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Roseanne returns to ABC with reality comedy

Roseanne returns to ABC with reality comedy. In what’s being billed as the first reality workplace sitcom, the comic actress will return to the onetime home of her self-titled series

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Given how bitter Roseanne’s relationship was with ABC, the network she battled over issues of control and content throughout the 1988-97 run of ”Roseanne,” you’d think she’d remarry Tom Arnold before she’d agree to star in another sitcom for the network. Nonetheless, Variety reports that she’s planning to executive produce and star in another comedy for ABC, one that could be even more groundbreaking than ”Roseanne” was. The other executive producer is reality series vet R.J. Cutler, and he tells Variety the new show will be ”the first reality comedy set in a workplace.”

Cutler, who was behind the reality series ”American High” and the documentary feature ”The War Room,” was coy on the details of what would be the first reality workplace sitcom (as opposed to the first reality domestic sitcom, which would be ”The Osbournes”), though Variety reports that the setting is rumored to be a cooking show or a talk show, like the one Roseanne hosted in syndication a couple years ago. ”Without giving away too much, there are many layers to the concept of this show,” Cutler says. ”Roseanne has a strong vision of what the show will be, but we’re still working out the details.”

Cutler is a busy guy; he’s behind the upcoming FX reality series ”American Candidate,” which could do for the 2004 presidential race what ”American Idol” has done for the Billboard singles chart. He’s also making a movie about musician Ryan (”Don’t Call Me Bryan”) Adams. As for Roseanne, she says in a statement, ”I’m really, really excited to be back home at ABC.”