‘Roseanne’ Comeback Snagged More Viewers Than 1997 Finale – and Shattered Other Ratings Records

Tuesday’s premiere defied even ABC’s expectations

Last Updated: March 28, 2018 @ 9:46 AM

“Roseanne” just shocked the world, scoring enormous numbers with its Tuesday night return after a two-decade hiatus. An hour’s worth of Roseanne Barr’s rebooted ABC sitcom averaged a 5.1 rating/21 share among adults 18-49 and 18.2 million total viewers.

Yeah, those are gigantic numbers. But just how big? Well, for starters, they’re more than double what even ABC was projecting.

In fact, last night’s overall audience tally was actually 10 percent better than the 16.6 million viewers the original 1997 series finale hauled in. It’s actually bigger than the final 12 episodes from that ’97 run.

The “Roseanne” return marked Tuesday’s highest-rated entertainment telecast in six years (so, not counting sports or news). It was the best demo number for any sitcom on any night since September 2014.

In terms of ABC’s record books, the “Roseanne” comeback delivered the Disney-owned network its largest overall audience for the one-hour time period since November 2006, and the best demo rating since November 2009.

Isolating only scripted fare, “Roseanne” was ABC’s most-watched show since a 2008 “Desperate Housewives” season premiere and the network’s highest rated since a “Modern Family” season premiere in 2012.

ABC, led by its old/new monster hit,  just had its top Tuesday with regular series programming since September 24, 2013.

Yeah, we’d say this one was a success.

Read how helpful “Roseanne” was as a lead-in for last night’s other ABC shows, and just how badly the sitcom pummeled its Tuesday broadcast competition here.

The next shot TV viewers will get at a new “Roseanne” episode is next Tuesday at 8/7c.

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