Roseanne almost had a major role in ‘SMILF’

"You’re my hero, will you play my mom?"

Frankie Shaw in "SMILF." –Mark Schafer/Showtime

“SMILF,” the Golden Globe-nominated comedy-drama set in South Boston, stars Frankie Shaw as a struggling single mother and Rosie O’Donnell as her bipolar mother. Apparently, Shaw initially planned for O’Donnell’s role to be played by a different comedic actress: Roseanne Barr.

According to Variety, Shaw told an audience at ABC Studios’ For Your Consideration event meant to woo Emmy voters that the role of Tutu was offered to Barr, whose sitcom “Roseanne” was recently cancelled by ABC after Barr sent a racist tweet.

“We did offer Tutu to Roseanne, and she was going to do it,” Shaw said, per Variety. “And then she broke her knee and had surgery.”


Shaw then recounted meeting with Barr in Los Angeles and pitching her the role.

“I was like, ‘You’re my hero, will you play my mom?'” Shaw said, per Variety. “And she said yes and I went to Boston and then I got this call that she had fallen in a park and had like 45 stitches and wasn’t allowed to travel. I sent her this package and I even wrote the character would be in a scooter. I was like, ‘She’ll be in a scooter, we’ll just scoot you around you won’t even have to walk.’ And her doctor said she can’t fly.”

“SMILF,” was renewed for a second season in November. While the show does not have a date set for its season premiere, the first episode of season two will be called “Single Mom in Love Forever,” according to IMDb Pro.