The Connors have returned to TV, and they brought their fans with them. The revival of the 1990s classic TV comedy Roseanne debuted on its original home, ABC, on Tuesday, March 27, and it did the network proud in the ratings department.
The two-episode premiere started with a whopping 17.7 million viewers during the first half hour, and then grew to 18.6 million in the second, according to Deadline. Over the course of the hour, Roseanne had an average of 18.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in the 18-49 demo. A number like that hasn’t been seen in the key demo during a Tuesday entertainment telecast for six years, so needless to say, it was a great night for ABC.
Roseanne‘s numbers so far recall the days before streaming became so ubiquitous. Of course, it remains to be seen if the revival series can maintain such a large audience. Still, there is no arguing that the people who work on the show should be proud of the numbers. If all revivals had ratings like these, we’d probably never see the end of the trend.
News of the series came in May 2017. During a call with reporters, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey proclaimed, “We’re rebooting Roseanne.” The network announced an eight-episode run that was slated to return in the middle of the ABC TV season.
If you spent hours invested in the Connors’ family drama, then rest assured that the most popular characters came on board. Besides Roseanne Barr reprising her leading role, John Goodman, Big Bang Theory‘s Michael Fishman, Sarah Gilbert, and Laurie Metcalf have all returned. That means Dan, Darlene, Jackie, D.J., and Becky are back for your viewing pleasure.
As Dungey hinted at the time of the announcement, the show will provide commentary on the current state of America. “The Conners’ joys and struggles are as relevant — and hilarious — today as they were then, and there’s really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne,” Dungey said in a statement.
ABC was the series’ home during its original run from 1989 to 1997, but Roseanne‘s continuation was not a foregone conclusion. Netflix, which has revived other series, including Full House, Arrested Development, and Gilmore Girls, was rumored to be bidding for the show. ABC, the original host of cult classic Twin Peaks, lost out on that show’s return to CBS’ Showtime network.
ABC has not revealed if there will be future seasons following the initial reboot, but let’s hope this will not be the last time we see the Connors.
Updated March 28 by Stephanie Topacio Long: Added premiere ratings data.