For Roseanne Barr, the road to Emmy glory for her eponymous television series was a long one. Though leading man John Goodman earned Emmy nominations for each of the first seven seasons of “Roseanne,” it took Barr four seasons to make her first appearance in Best Comedy Actress. While she lost her bid that year, she did win for season five. Like Goodman and co-star Laurie Metcalf, Barr would receive nominations through the seventh season of “Roseanne.”
This year, with the much-anticipated revival of “Roseanne,” Barr may make a grand return to the Emmys, 23 years since her last nomination for portraying Roseanne Conner on the highly-rated ABC series. Though Barr only triumphed once on Emmy night, she was a master at selecting episodes for voters’ consideration. On each of her four nominations, Barr submitted showcases that stand among her best work from the show’s first nine-season run.
For Season 4 of “Roseanne,” Barr entered “A Bitter Pill to Swallow,” in which Roseanne wrestles with daughter Becky (Lecy Goranson)’s proclamation that she wishes to go on birth control. This acclaimed episode marked the show’s sole appearance in Best Comedy Writing, earning nominations for Amy Sherman and Jennifer Heath.
The series’ fifth season found Barr sending “Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home,” a dramatic showcase for Barr in which Roseanne deals with the aftermath of her father’s death. The episode not only scored Barr the Emmy win but the Best Comedy Supporting Actress trophy for Metcalf as well.
For Season 6, Barr submitted “The Driver’s Seat,” in which Roseanne violently lashes out at son D.J. (Michael Fishman) and finds herself aghast at her behavior, all too reminiscent of the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her father.
And in the show’s seventh season, Barr sent “Thanksgiving 1994,” in which a pregnant Roseanne agonizes over the family’s Thanksgiving celebration, having just learned from her doctor’s office that there may be something wrong with the baby.
On all four of these occasions, Barr submitted her season-best work. Ultimately, Emmy favorite Candice Bergen (‘Murphy Brown’) would defeat Barr in three of these four races. Barr need not worry about Bergen this year, however, as the announced “Murphy Brown” reboot is not set to air until the 2018-19 television season.
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