With Roseanne’s third week running, the controversial show continues to make waves in the news and media, with Barr as the political face of American right wing conservatives. Smattered with the same dry humor that made it a hit in the 1980s and 1990s, Roseanne continues to hit high ratings. However, the controversies surrounding her political stances have reduced her ratings pretty dramatically from week one to week three. Roseanne has gone from just over 18 million viewers in week one, down to 15 million plus viewers in week two and, now, just a little under 14 million viewers. Still, it remains on top of the TV’s prime time shows with little evidence it’s going anywhere, anytime soon.

There are also a few weekly familiar references to Roseanne’s weight, but this time referencing her weight loss. Barr’s weight has always been under scrutiny, from her plus size to her weight gain throughout the show, and even her weight loss during and after. So, it makes sense that this would be mentioned during the show’s debut and continued episodes. Weight references, controversial topics, humor, and high ratings… Roseanne is back and while so many things have changed, so many things haven’t.

Roseanne premiered on October 18, 1988 and was watched by 21.4 million households, making it the highest-rated debut of that season. The show aired for 9 original seasons. As the show moved from consistent top 3 Nielsen ratings down to well below the 30s. It was time for Roseanne to close their doors. But, there’s actually no way that’s happening any time soon. Roseanne’s 10th season ratings continue to increase each week with playbacks (something that wasn’t available in 1988). For example, her original week, which began with 18 million viewers, hit 25 million just a few days later after being played back  on DVR and other modes such as Hulu, etc.

And, the good news for the plus size actress continues: she’s already been renewed for Season 11. Whether you agree with her political views or not, it’s good to see more curves on the flat screen!


Roseanne’s Original Ratings from 1988 to 1997

Season Episodes Originally aired Nielsen ratings
First aired Last aired Rank Rating
1 23 October 18, 1988 May 2, 1989 2 23.8
2 24 September 12, 1989 May 8, 1990 1 23.1
3 25 September 18, 1990 May 14, 1991 3 18.3
4 25 September 17, 1991 May 12, 1992 2 21.2
5 25 September 15, 1992 May 11, 1993 2 20.7
6 25 September 14, 1993 May 24, 1994 4 19.3
7 26 September 21, 1994 May 24, 1995 9 15.6
8 25 September 19, 1995 May 21, 1996 16 12.6
9 24 September 17, 1996 May 20, 1997 35 10.1