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Questions abound on eve of Emmy nominations ‘Roseanne’ respect?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

By Lynn Elber

AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES

If “Roseanne” has a shot at Emmy honors, it’s because television academy voters are willing to overlook Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet that ended the revival after one triumphant season.

Barr, the sitcom and its ensemble cast are vying for Emmy nominations to be announced Thursday morning. They were submitted for consideration before the show was axed and no one – including its lightning-rod star – asked to be withdrawn.

The comedian could have “ducked and hidden” because of her online insult targeting former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett that prompted ABC to cancel the series despite its high ratings, said Tom O’Neil, author of “The Emmys.”

Barr and others who worked on the show are hoping that attention will be focused on what they achieved and not the controversy, said O’Neil, editor of the Gold Derby awards handicapping website.

The “Roseanne” revival threw a political twist into the mix: Barr’s support for President Donald Trump was mirrored by her character, Roseanne Conner, who gleefully clashed with her liberal sister. Viewers liked the approach, making it the most-watched series last season with an average audience of 18.7 million tuning in on Tuesdays.

Writers, directors and cast members including Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert have reason to seek Emmy attention beyond ego: It’s a chance to highlight “The Conners,” the spinoff featuring the ensemble cast minus Barr that’s set to air next season on ABC.

There will be other contests to scrutinize when Samira Wiley (“Handmaid’s Tale”) and Ryan Eggold (“The Blacklist,” upcoming “New Amsterdam”) announce nominees for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards beginning at 11:25 a.m. Thursday.

The ceremony airs Sept. 17 on NBC with Colin Jost and Michael Che of “Saturday Night Live” serving as hosts.

The growing dominance of streaming services including Hulu and Netflix, combined with premium cable networks HBO and Showtime, continue to overshadow the broadcast networks that were once the very definition of television. Although they air the annual awards in rotation, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are fighting for viewers and a place at the Emmy banquet.

In the best drama series contest, last year’s champ was Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is expected to defend its title against previous two-time winner “Game of Thrones.”

“Handmaid’s Tale” star Elisabeth Moss, winner of last year’s top drama actress award, is likely to end up competing one more time against another Elizabeth – Claire Foy’s British queen in Netflix’s “The Crown,” with Foy abdicating the role as the saga progresses.