UPDATED with finals: ABC’s Roseanne reboot delivered premiere demo ratings we haven’t seen on broadcast TV in awhile. The first of the two episodes drew massive 17.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating in adults 18-49. The second episode at 8:30 PM rose even higher to 18.6 million viewers and a 5.3 in 18-49. For the 8 PM hour, Roseanne averaged a 5.2 in 18-49 after an upward adjustment in the finals and 18.2 million viewers.
That was up from the strong return of Will & Grace on NBC last fall (3.0 in 18-49, 10.2 million) and is certain to lead to a quick Season 2 renewal for the blue-collar sitcom starring Roseanne Barr. Roseanne easily ranks as the biggest series debut this season, topping CBS’ Young Sheldon (17.2 million, 3.8), which had a big The Big Bang Theory lead-in.
Even more impressive, the politically charged Roseanne, which made pre-launch headlines for Barr’s support of Donald Trump, returned last night to an audience that was up 10% from the May 1997 finale telecast 21 years ago and topped the viewership of the final 12 telecasts of the original run’s 1996-97 season.
Roseanne scored the highest rated Tuesday entertainment telecast in 6 years among adults 18-49 and TV’s highest rated comedy telecast on any night in 3-1/2 years– since 9/22/14. It is the top scripted telecast this season only behind the post-Super Bowl episode of This Is Us.
Barr took to Twitter to thank viewers for the huge premiere numbers:
Roseanne also did great on social media with 2.5 million total interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter about Tuesday night’s premiere. The premiere was the #1 most social program on 3/27.
The big Roseanne debut boosted black-ish (2.6, 8.7 million) to season highs, more than doubling its most recent Live+same day delivery (1.1, 3.9 million) and drawing its second largest audience only behind its series debut. Out of that, new comedy Splitting Up Together premiered to a solid 2.1 in 18-49 (after a downward adjustment in the finals) and 7.2 million viewers, ABC’s top Tuesday comedy debut since September 2015 (The Muppets). Even For the People (0.9, 3.6 million) got a big boost, surging 50% in the demo from its most recent episode.
NBC’s The Voice (1.7 after an upward adjustment, 8.9 million) and CBS’ NCIS (1.3, 11.8 million) both took a hit against the monster Roseanne debut. The Voice fell 23% in the demo to a Tuesday cycle low; NCIS slipped two tenths.
NBC’s new drama Rise (0.8, 4.5 million) mirrored The Voice‘s drop, down 27%, while Chicago Med (1.0, 5.8 million) was down 17% to a season low.
CBS’ Bull (1.1 after a downward adjustment, 10.7 million) was down a tenth, while NCIS: New Orleans (0.9, 8.6 million) dipped a tenth.
Fox’s LA to Vegas (0.6, 2 million) was down a tenth while The Mick (0.7 after an upward adjustment, 1.8 million) was steady
The CW’s Black Lightning (0.5, 1.54 million) also held steady.