Ratings for the first week of “Roseanne” tripled ABC’s internal projections.
Now the second week is here. Is there any way the sitcom can top last week’s record?
We’ll see. Television executives are paying extra-close attention to Tuesday night’s ratings race.
“Roseanne” starts ABC’s prime time lineup at 8 p.m., leading into ABC’s other sitcoms, “The Middle,” “black-ish” and “Splitting Up Together.”
The first two episodes of the season — back after a 21-year hiatus — aired last week.
About 18 million viewers tuned in on Tuesday, blowing away TV prognosticators.
The totals are even higher now that three days of time-shifted viewing has been counted.
“Roseanne” notched 25 million viewers total, according to Nielsen’s most current numbers.
“And that doesn’t even include the additional 4.3 million viewers who tuned into an encore telecast on Sunday night — or the growth it will see from Hulu and ABC streaming,” The Hollywood Reporter pointed out.
The trade publication called the show’s performance in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic downright “obscene.”
ABC had projected a 2.2 and a 2.0 rating in the demo for the first two episodes, according to a network source.
The average demo rating for the episodes, counting three days of time-shifting, is now 7.3, a number that translates to the percentage of 18- to 49-year-old Americans with TVs who watched the episode.
ABC executives were optimistic about how popular the reboot would be — but the ratings results were astonishing.
Related: ‘Roseanne’ generates big ratings — and risk of old challenges — for ABC
TV critics have credited the show’s built-in fan base, star-power, sharp writing, and its relatable portrayal of a working-class family.
The show has been embraced by Trump Country in part because Roseanne Barr is a Trump supporter in real life and so is her character on the show.
Last week Trump called Barr to congratulate her, and he celebrated the show’s ratings while giving a speech in Ohio.
All the attention surrounding the sitcom’s return could give it a further boost this week.
As CNN’s Brian Lowry wrote here, “ABC and the rest of the TV industry will be watching closely to see how many of those who sampled “Roseanne’s” return will be back.”
Some insiders think it’s not possible for the show to match last week’s overnight rating of 18 million. But they didn’t think it would be so popular to begin with, either.
Due to the Trump connection, some Fox News shows have also been hyping this week’s episode, even though it’s airing on a rival network.
The morning show “Fox & Friends” had multiple segments about the success of “Roseanne” on Tuesday morning.
“We are promoting the show,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said, while playfully griping that Barr hadn’t agreed to come on “Fox & Friends” yet.
“Hey, Roseanne, if you are watching, we would love to have you on the show,” co-host Steve Doocy said.