TV Ratings: ‘Roseanne’ Revival Skyrockets With Stunning Premiere

From The Hollywood Reporter– Roseanne returned Tuesday. The ABC sitcom, away from the air for two decades, kicked off its revived run with especially promising returns — dominating every other Big Four telecast of the night.

 

The first two episodes of Roseanne, a full hour at the top of the ABC lineup, won the night by both adults 18-49 and total viewers. The show averaged a 5.1 rating in the key demo and 18.1 million viewers, rising from the first half hour to the next. The first number alone is easily enough to make Roseanne the highest-rated regularly-scheduled scripted show of the last few seasons, as well as the highest-rated sitcom in recent memory.

That’s an incredibly strong start for the sitcom, thus far only committed to nine episodes. The easiest comparison is another revival, NBC’s Will & Grace. The other reboot, one that helped jumpstart Roseanne and the current trend, premiered with a 3.0 rating in the key demo and just over 10 million viewers at the start of the season.

ABC made a pretty bold move by having Roseanne go it alone at 8 p.m., without any lead-in. The hour has belonged to sitcoms The Middle and Fresh Off the Boat for the season up until now. Roseanne’s brief run picks up next Tuesday, airing single episodes at 8 p.m. for another seven weeks.

Reboots have been a big part of the TV narrative the last year, particularly at the broadcast networks. Will & Grace and Roseanne will be followed by Murphy Brown on CBS during the 2018-19 season, and rumblings of others (The Office, Mad About You) continue. Like Will & Grace, itself renewed through a third season of the new run, Roseanne’s comeback was inspired by the current political climate. But unlike Will & Grace, or any other scripted offering on U.S. TV at the moment, Roseanne presents a more varied take on Donald Trump’s America.

These shows are an easy way to cut through the clutter. They promote themselves, generally inspire initial tune-in and have established cast members to do a lot of the heavy lifting — one reason why ABC was able to pull in $175,000 for 30-second ads. For now, it seems, it was worth the investment.

Author: csalute

Christopher Salute is a Professor and Asst. Dean at Long Island University. His top three specialties include organizational change, market research, and digital marketing. Salute spent his career in banking, advertising, and e-commerce, working with firms like Yahoo! Inc., eBay, and Amazon.com. He has an earned Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with Minors in Business, Writing, and Communications from Siena College. His MBA in Management was earned at Molloy College. Salute completed his Ph.D. in Applied Organizational Psychology at Hofstra University. Read more at www.linkedin.com/pub/christopher-salute/7/ab9/261/.

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