Roseanne will have one less showrunner when the show returns for its 11th season. Co-showrunner Whitney Cummings has exited the ABC reboot ahead of the upcoming season, leaving Bruce Helford as the sole showrunner, according to Deadline.
“Whitney just had too much on her plate to commit,” Helford told Deadline. “But she’s always a part of the Roseanne family.”
Cummings, a stand-up comedian and huge Rosanne fan who was just a kid when the original series debuted in the late 1980s, confirmed her departure from the show on Twitter.
“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 honor to work with such an incredible group of actors, writers, and crew.”
Whitney Cummings was a driving force behind the Roseanne revival. In an essay for Vulture, Whitney wrote that while she did not agree with all of series star Roseanne Barr’s ideas, the “clash of ideas and clash of personalities” made for a more realistic TV show.
A behind-the-scenes shakeup is nothing new for Roseanne. Helford, now the lone showrunner, joined the ABC comedy in its fifth season in 1992 but was fired by Barr the following year. Still, Helford had no hesitation in coming back when the Roseanne revival was announced 25 years later.
Helford told Entertainment Weekly his year on Roseanne was one of the best years of his life, despite the pressure to be a No. 1 television show back then.
“All kind of factors were involved,” Helford said of his Roseanne firing. “But I never took it personally. I was very happy for the opportunity to run a show for the first time. My agent and lawyer both said that everybody got fired. So when it came, there was really no shock because I knew that was a part of the game. “
Helford revealed when he returned for the Roseanne reboot, Barr even apologized for firing him back in the day.
“She gave me a big hug and said, ‘Oh yeah, I fired you. You are the best writer we ever had. Sorry about that,'” Helford recalled.
While Whitney Cummings is out for the next season of Roseanne, Wanda Sykes and Norm MacDonald will return to the writers’ room alongside veteran Roseanne writers Bruce Rasmussen, Dave Caplan, Sid Youngers, and Betsy Borns. But several new writers will also join Roseanne’s 11th season, including Ali Liebegott (Transparent), Mitch and Jana Hunter (The Middle), Ted Jessup (Family Guy), comedy writers Liz Astrof and Emily Wilson, and stand-up comic Jena Friedman.
The Roseanne Season 10 finale airs Tuesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. There is no word when the 11th season of the hit sitcom will debut.