The Connors stars hit with pay cut as ratings tank

It’s not entirely confirmed, but some of the Hollywood grapevine outlets are all talking about it as if it is. Things aren’t going well for the folks producing The Connors this season. Ratings are down across the board which means that revenues from advertising are also sinking. We already learned that the network has only signed on for one additional episode beyond the original set they ordered, That leaves them far short of an entire season, sparking additional rumors that the show may be cut entirely. In the meantime, they need to keep the lights turned on, both literally and figuratively, so the word on the street is that two of the shows highest paid stars are being asked to take a pay cut. (

John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf have learned Roseanne Barr‘s absence could have a dramatic effect on their wallets!

The Straight Shuter podcast reports The Conners is already in trouble without controversial comedian Barr around. Ratings are decreasing every week, and the stars’ paychecks might soon follow suit.

With the sitcom’s ratings dropping to 7 million, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf “are too expensive to keep around,” a source told Straight Shuter. “They both earn $375,000 an episode, a number that was negotiated before the Roseanne scandal.”

“Now that the audience has disappeared along with the star, the only way to keep the show profitable is to ask both John and Laurie to take a pay cut,” the source noted.

The show’s producers appear to be learning a lesson the hard way here. Who could have imagined that a show built entirely around the character of Roseanne Barr might not do well without Roseanne Barr? This must be a tough pill to swallow for the two remaining leads. Metcalf may never have been an actual A-list celebrity, but she’s closely associated with the Roseanne universe to the point where she was probably counting on a significant payday. (And $375K per episode may not be Seinfeld money, but it’s nothing to sneeze at.) John Goodman, on the other hand, has been a star in his own right, both with Roseanne and without her. He’s used to commanding that sort of cash.

The crazy part of this story is that the Roseanne reboot was actually breaking one of the primary rules of entertainment and getting away with it. Dipping too deeply into politics these days and pushing an agenda is a ratings killer, both for TV and movies. (The Murphy Brown reboot, which does nothing but trash the Trump administration, is also teetering on the edge of cancellation.) But with Roseanne Barr leading the mixture of characters, The Connors was soaring.

Perhaps that’s because rather than being an echo chamber for one side or the other, they had Barr and Metcalf sparring from both sides of the ideological divide, with both getting their licks in. Instead of only drawing in liberals looking for entertainment that supports their world view, conservatives were tuning in for the rare chance to see a comedy where they weren’t simply being lectured to about progressive values. The contrast made the show entertaining enough that even I was tuning in every week.

But they kicked out Roseanne and now it’s just the same liberal pablum being pawned off everywhere else. The free market is a funny thing, isn’t it? Give the people what they want and they’ll beat a path to your door. Turn off half of your audience and you’re back in the wastelands. Live and learn, I suppose.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023