Roseanne consistently ranked in the Nielsen top 20 shows listing for eight of its nine seasons. It reached its pinnacle in its second season becoming the most watched television show in the United States.
Roseanne's brother and sister are both gay, which is why she pushed for introducing gay characters into the show. This led to a major fallout with producer Matt Williams, who disliked making Nancy's character a lesbian. Roseanne responded: "My show portrays various slices of life, and homosexuals are a reality."
Sara Gilbert's contribution to the show was considered so important to Roseanne that the show's producers juggled storylines and taping schedules to allow her to study at Yale University while remaining part of the cast, shooting remote segments of Darlene at a soundstage in New York.
Alicia Goranson's request to wear her hair shorter as Becky was originally turned down by the producers. Goranson took her case to Roseanne, who solved the issue by taking up a pair of scissors and hacking Goranson's hair short then and there.
At the very end of Sarah Chalke's first episode after replacing Alicia Goranson in the role of Becky the family is seen watching an episode of Bewitched (1964) and discussing how the producers of the show must've been stupid to think that no one would notice that they replaced the Original Darren (Dick York) with another actor (Dick Sargent). All of the Roseanne characters but one mention that they liked the original Darren better. The one that preferred the replacement Darren was Becky - played by replacement Sarah Chalke.
Early during the first season, Roseanne frequently butted heads with the show's creator Matt Williams. Williams worked as the executive producer for the show's first thirteen episodes, but quit when Roseanne vehemently refused to say to her on-screen husband, "Well, you're my equal in bed, but that's it." Roseanne felt it was a line her character would never say.
During the last four seasons of the show, recurring guest stars Johnny Galecki (David) and Glenn Quinn (Mark) actually appear in more episodes than their on-screen girlfriends/wives Sara Gilbert (Darlene) and Sarah Chalke/Lecy Goranson (Becky)
Allegedly, in the early years there was a naked picture of George Clooney, only covering his privates with "Groucho"-style goggles, on the set fridge. This photo was supposedly taken by John Goodman or Roseanne when the three went out drinking one night. Then it mysteriously disappeared from the set one day.
In the fall of 2008 Barr said, on what the Conners would be up to now, "I've always said now that if they were on TV, DJ would have been killed in Iraq and [the Conners] would have lost their house." When asked for more details on where the rest of the Conners - Jackie, Becky, Darlene, David, and Mark - would be, Barr said "Your question is intellectual property that may be developed later, so I don't want to get into that."
During season 8 there were two episodes ("We're Going to Disney World" and "Disney World War II") in which the Connor family visited and loved the Walt Disney World Resort. An episode or set of episodes shot at Disney World or Disneyland was a frequent requirement of family shows on ABC after the network merged with the Walt Disney Company in July 1995 (other ABC shows that did this included Boy Meets World (1993), Step by Step (1991), Full House (1987) and Family Matters (1989)). The next _Roseanne_ episode aired after the cast returned from Disney World was "Springtime for David," in which David goes to work in a sinister and secretive amusement park; this episode is widely understood to be a parody of the Disney parks.
The lyrics for the show's theme song, during the ninth season were, "If what doesn't kill us is making us stronger, were gonna last longer than the greatest wall in China, or that rabbit with the drum. If there's one thing that I learned, while waiting for my turn, it's that in each life some rain falls, but you also get some sun. And we'll make out better than okay, hear what I say? Yeah, any day."
In Alicia Goranson's first episode after her absence, Rosanne and Dan are in D.Js old room which they are fixing up for the new baby, when Becky shows up at the door with a drop cloth to paint the room and Rosanne says "Where the hell have you been?" a little later, Darlene and D.J are in the laundry room when Becky walks in Darlene says "Where the hell have you been?", referring to her replacement by Sarah Chalke.Prompting Becky to say "why is everyone asking that"?
Sarah Chalke took over the role of Becky for the final time in the 8th season she showed up in the episode "We're Going to Disney World!" When she enters the first scene Roseanne says "Aren't you glad that you're here this week?"
All the exterior shots going to and coming from commercial breaks are shots of various city streets and buildings in Evansville, IN. This is where Matt Williams, the executive producer, was born and raised as well as attended college at the University of Evansville. He graduated from F.J. Reitz high school in Evansville.
A few actors had more than one role in the series. Actor Dann Florek played Becky's Principal (Principal Hiller) in S3 EP9 and Darlene's doctor (Dr. Rudmen) in S9 E18-19. Actor Michael Des Barres played one of Darlene's doctors (Dr. Phillips) in S9 E19 and Leon's boyfriend (Steven/Jerry) in season three. Also actor Rob Fuller has a few parts; as does a couple of other people.
Although Alicia Goranson returned in the eight season to play Becky, Sarah Chalke, her replacement, still played Becky in some episodes that season. When Goranson left the show again at the end of the season, Chalke took on the role of Becky full time again.
Roseanne Barr is the only character of the series to appear in every episode. Although, she did only appear as herself in the tag of one episode. Laurie Metcalf and Michael Fishman were absent for about half a dozen episodes across the show, and John Goodman was absent for a dozen episodes during season 9.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Although Jackie's relationship with Fisher ends violently (Fisher is physically abusive to Jackie, and when Dan and Roseanne find out, Dan beats up Fisher and is arrested) the actors who play Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Fisher (Matt Roth) married in 1993 after Roth's run on the show was over, and were still married as of December 2010.