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Roseanne Arnold to ABC: I'm Outta Here : Television: The actress' spokeswoman confirms her published intention to pull her top-rated sitcom from the network in 1994.

April 24, 1993|GREG BRAXTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Roseanne Arnold, saying she's fed up with ABC's indecision over the fate of her husband's "The Jackie Thomas Show," has declared she's severing ties with the network and will take her popular series elsewhere at the end of next season.

Arnold, in an interview with the New York Times, said her relationship with ABC was "absolutely over" because network executives had lied to her repeatedly about when they would decide whether to renew "Jackie Thomas." She and her husband, Tom, who stars in the series, are executive producers of the comedy, which debuted last December following "Roseanne" but consistently lost a large chunk of that audience.

Saying she was "treated with disrespect" by ABC, Arnold claimed she would take "Roseanne" to another network after one more year. The show is contracted to ABC through next season. She added that she was also terminating a deal with ABC for her and Tom Arnold to develop other series.

A spokeswoman for Arnold said Friday that the actress, who is at her vacation farm in Iowa, would have no further comment, but that her statements in the interview were accurate.

Officials for Carsey-Werner, the company that produces "Roseanne," indicated that they had "respect" for the feelings of the Arnolds and said they would live up to their contractual agreement with ABC. Carsey-Werner recently signed a deal with the Arnolds to produce "Roseanne" for another three seasons.

ABC officials responded to the Arnold interview by releasing a statement: "ABC has a contractual right to renew 'The Jackie Thomas Show' for the 1993-94 TV season, and will decide whether or not to exercise that right when we announce our fall prime-time program lineup in mid-May."

Arnold, in an appearance last week on NBC's "The Tonight Show," threatened to pull "Roseanne" off the air because of her unhappiness. In the New York Times interview, she said that Robert Iger, president of the ABC Network Television Group, "was furious with me for going on television that way, because I had embarrassed him."

She said that she had spoken with Iger Thursday to get a definitive answer about "Jackie Thomas."

"He told me he couldn't make the decision on those terms," Arnold said. She said Iger told her that caving in to her public pressure would make him look weak to his colleagues and the news media.

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