EXCLUSIVE: Roseanne Barr is nearing a return to primetime. I’ve learned that NBC is finalizing a deal for a new comedy series the Roseanne alumna is co-writing with Nurse Jackie co-creator/former co-showrunner Linda Wallem. I hear the project, a multi-camera family comedy, is intended as going straight to series under the 10/90 model used by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury for the Tyler Perry sitcoms on TBS and most recently Anger Management at FX. Universal TV is producing in what would be the studio’s first stab at the 10/90 template. This also would mark the first broadcast network to take on the model, which involves a straight-to-series 10-episode order that triggers a 90-episode back order if a ratings mark is hit. I hear Barr and Wallem are currently working on the script in Hawaii where Barr resides.Barr has experience with long-running family sitcoms: Her eponymous ABC comedy aired 221 episodes and has had a successful afterlife in syndication, which is key for series produced under the 10/90 model. Those series also tend to rely on seasoned sitcom stars in the lead as has been the case with Anger Management (Charlie Sheen) and FX’s upcoming Saint George (George Lopez) and untitled Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom. NBC’s Roseanne Barr project stems from a development deal she signed with NBC and Universal TV in January, which also included an arc on the network’s flagship comedy The Office.
During the 2011-2012 season, Barr developed a multi-camera comedy at NBC, the 20th TV-produced Downwardly Mobile, which went to pilot. Barr is repped by Paradigm and manager Steven Greener; Wallem is with CAA.