ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey gave up a financial powerhouse when she canceled “Roseanne” over Roseanne Barr’s tweet about Valerie Jarrett: The show could have earned $60 million in ad revenue next season, according to projections provided to TheWrap.
Data from ad-tracking firm Kantar Media indicates that the hit revival earned an estimated $45 million in ad revenue this season. ABC had planned to air more episodes next season, which would have increased potential ad revenue to about $60 million, according to Kantar.
During its brief return to ABC, “Roseanne” was the most-watched show across all of TV in viewing across a given week. Thirty-second spots sold for between $200,000 and $420,000, multiple insiders told TheWrap.
ABC will be able to offset its projected $60 million in losses by airing something else in place of “Roseanne” and charging for ads. But the show’s replacement — which hasn’t yet been announced — is very unlikely to be the phenomenon the “Roseanne” reunion was.
ABC declined to comment.
Counting only Live + 7 Day numbers through May 13, 2018, “Roseanne” averaged a massive 6.2 rating among adults 18-49. The numbers are not completely up-to-date because not all delayed-viewing ratings are in for the “Roseanne” finale.
“Roseanne” currently matches NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and beats NBC’s “This Is Us” (which has a 5.4 rating that includes spiked ratings for an episode that aired after the Super Bowl).
Tuesday morning, Barr suggested on Twitter that former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes,” which was met with immediate backlash. Barr attempted to apologize by saying it was a “joke” that was “in bad taste.”
That wasn’t good enough for ABC. Dungey labeled Barr’s tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values,” before saying the show was canceled.
Disney CEO Robert Iger added in a tweet that the decision was “the only thing to do here,” and “the right thing.”