Roseanne: Reboot of Sitcom is Huge Success

ABC sitcom Roseanne kicked off its revived run strongly, dominating every other 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.

Roseanne is the highest-rated regularly scheduled scripted show of the last few seasons–since Empire at its peak–and the highest-rated sitcom broadcast in over three years.

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 jump-start 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.

The new 'Roseanne' premieres March 27.
The closest off-network competition came from NBC’s The Voice, which posted  1.6 rating among adults 18-49 against its surprisingly strong competition.
ABC could have won Tuesday in the demo on Roseanne alone, but the comedy served as a shot in the arm for Black-ish — which more than doubled recent scores for a 2.6 rating in the key demo. Freshman premiere Splitting Up Together also fared very well, earning a 2.2 rating and 7.2 million viewers.

Reboots

Will & Grace and Roseanne will be followed by Murphy Brown on CBS during the 2018-2019 season,

Like Will & Grace, which was renewed through a third season of the new run, Roseanne made its comeback inspired by the current political climate. But unlike Will & Grace, or any other scripted offering on U.S., 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 and generally inspire initial tune-in, which is why ABC was able to pull in $175,000 for 30-second ads.