'Reel' Roseanne better than 'Real Roseanne'

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Few things seem less appealing than the prospect of "The Real Roseanne Show" (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., ABC). Veteran documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler ("American High," "The War Room") follows former "Roseanne" star Roseanne Barr as she pitches her new cooking show to the Food Network. Unlike the Osbournes, who burst upon the scene two years back with their quirky lifestyle, Barr's private life has been an open book since the late 1980s.

We all loved her character Roseanne Conner, but that was part of a truly great sitcom, a collaborative effort with writers, producers and fine actors, including Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman. Who knows, maybe the sight of Roseanne trying to be "real" will drive us all back to scripted dramas and comedies.

Tonight's other highlights

Late night

Samuel Jackson appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS).

Colin Farrell, Molly Shannon and Smash Mouth are scheduled on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Anthony Michael Hall and Candace Bushnell appear on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).