Roseanne‘s premiere ratings are as big, bold and brassy as the series and its star.
The Roseanne Barr comedy, returning to ABC two decades after it ended its first run, averaged 18.2 million viewers, more than doubling its competitors in young-adult ratings for Tuesday’s hourlong premiere, according to Nielsen.
In both categories, Roseanne was the top regularly scheduled broadcast this season, and the premiere even outpaced (by 10%) the 16.6 million recorded for its May 1997 series finale.
The return was much larger than the premiere of another original-cast revival, NBC’s Will & Grace, which opened to 10.2 million viewers last September. A third season has been added to its two-season order. Another original-cast comedy, CBS’s Murphy Brown, is in the works for fall.
Roseanne towered over tough competition, CBS’s NCIS and NBC’s The Voice, and delivered ABC’s best results in the time period since 2006. It scored the highest rating for a comedy since The Big Bang Theory‘s 2014 fall premiere.
Roseanne‘s strong opening helped the ABC comedy that followed. Black-ish (8.7 million) drew its second-biggest audience.