Trump touts Roseanne Barr's ratings after successful series premiere
Posted March 29, 2018 7:07 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) — After posting gangbuster ratings for the reboot of her late 20th-century sitcom, Roseanne Barr received a call from President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The White House declined to provide any additional details about the call, which occurred on a day when the President had no public events.
But Trump himself chose to recount the conversation Thursday at the tail end of a nearly hour-long speech at a union facility outside Cleveland.
"Look at Roseanne -- look at her ratings," Trump told the crowd, which had gathered to hear Trump deliver what was billed as an infrastructure speech but sounded instead closer to a political rally.
He said he first took a phone call Wednesday from the producer of his "Apprentice" series Mark Burnett, who asked whether he'd seen Roseanne's ratings.
"They were unbelievable," Trump said. "Over 18 million people. And it was about us."
Trump said the mainstream media hadn't yet "figured it out yet."
Trump has historically been highly attuned to television ratings, including his own as the host of NBC's "The Apprentice."
A vocal Trump supporter, Barr's revived "Roseanne" has been viewed as the latest chapter in the culture wars. It premiered Tuesday on ABC to a whopping 18.2 million viewers.
In the first episode of the new series, Barr's character reveals she is a Trump supporter, a fact that causes strife with members of her family.
Barr on Thursday shared that she and Trump had spoken about TV ratings and that Trump had called to congratulate her.
"They said, 'Hold please for the President of the United States of America' and that was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us," she said Thursday morning during an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
"We just kind of had a private conversation," she said. "But you know, we talked about a lot of things. He's just happy for me. I've known him for many years and he's done a lot of nice things for me over the years. So, it was just a friendly conversation about work, and you know, television and ratings."
"Roseanne" originally ran on the network from 1988 to 1997. It portrays the fictional blue-collar Conner family, who live in Illinois. In real life, Barr is also a vocal Trump supporter, though she lives on a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii and not in Illinois.