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TIME HAS COME TO BID ROSEANNE FAREWELL

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So Roseanne has threatened to quit her sitcom. Again.

Could there possibly be a story any less surprising than this one?Even Tom Werner, the co-chairman of production company Carsey-Werner, acknowledged how humdrum this sort of thing has become. In a particularly terse statement in the midst of the latest flare-up, Werner said simply, "That's our Rosie."

Roseanne storming off the set has happened so often it's barely even news anymore. But there was a somewhat surprising twist to this week's incident - co-star John Goodman briefly quit the show himself.

The word is that this latest Roseanne-a-thon went something like this:

- The ever tempremental star, who's also serving as an executive producer and director of her series, was in a snit when she learned that another of the show's executive producers, Eric Gilliland, had signed a contract to go to work for 20th Century Fox.

- Roseanne demanded that Gill-i-land be fired immediately. And she went ballistic when Tom Werner and his partner, Marcy Carsey, refused to do so.

- Roseanne stomped off the set on Tuesday, vowing never to return.

- The surprise came later that day when John Goodman, the wonderfully talented actor who has played Roseanne's on-camera husband since the show began seven years ago, left the lot, also vowing never to return. Reportedly, Goodman - one of the best-liked actors in television - had had enough of Roseanne's antics and just wanted to get away from her.

- Not terribly surprisingly, Roseanne was back at work on Wed-nesday, pretending that nothing happened. She issued a statement through her publicist, saying, "I don't know where they got this story. I'm back at work, and this is the best year of the `Roseanne' show ever."

(One wonders, however, how it would be possible for her to be back at work if she never left in the first place.)

- And later on Wednesday, Goodman also return to work.

Roseanne's behavior has gotten terribly old. And she's darn close to overplaying what remains of a rather weak hand.

The fact is that - despite Rose-anne's claims that this is the show's "best year ever," the show is finally running out of steam in its eighth season. It's just not as good as it used to be.

And neither are the ratings. Not only has it fallen out of the Top 10, but it's actually doing less well than the show that follows it - Tony Danza's "Hudson Street."

Roseanne is under contract to do another year of the show for the 1996-97 season, but she has publicly announced that she's wrapping it up next spring. Reportedly, ABC isn't going to fight her on it.

And not just because nobody really wants to get in a fight with Roseanne. The fact is that ABC pays more for an episode of "Roseanne" - $2.9 million - than any network pays for any other show. And a big chunk of that money pays Roseanne's salary.

What with "Roseanne's" declining ratings, it just may not be worth that kind of money to the network anymore.

As for Roseanne herself, she's made so much money off the show that she never needs to work again. And that may be a good thing, because it's entirely possible that she never will work in television again.

She's certainly improved as an actress since her sitcom began. But then, she almost would have had to because when it began, she couldn't act at all.

But Roseanne doesn't have a big career ahead of her playing other roles. "Roseanne" was her gravy train, and when it's gone she's going to have a hard time catching another one.

Not to mention the fact that nobody in Hollywood - either behind or in front of the cameras - is going to be anxious to work with someone who has proven to be this much trouble.

All of this has gotten old. Roseanne has gotten accustomed to getting her way because of the popularity of her show.

Guess what. It isn't as popular as it used to be. And it isn't making ABC the kind of money it used to.

The time has come to take her up on any offer she makes to quit.