'Roseanne' Tops on TV, a First for ABC in 18 Years

ABC’s revival of popular ‘80s and ‘90s sitcom Roseanne is breaking records and earning the network some pretty big titles.

Roseanne has been making waves in TV ratings ever since its premiere, and according to a report from Deadline, the revival has earned ABC a distinction that the network itself has not enjoyed in 18 years: it is now host to the TV season’s No. 1 show. Along with the unique distinction, Roseanne has also made ABC the top network on Tuesdays for four weeks in a row, something it has not achieved in a decade, and has also seen the network win the key 18-49 demo for the first time in 24 years.

The news does not come as much of a surprise given that during its short four-week run, it has already enjoyed major ratings success.

During the two premiere episodes, which aired back-to-back on March 27, the reboot scored big, bringing home a rating of 5.1 in the 18-49 demographic, the biggest rating for a TV comedy in recent years, and grabbing 18.1 million viewers.

Following the show’s premiere, the President reportedly made a personal phone call to congratulate series star Roseanne Barr on a job well done with her eponymous reboot. The president was enthralled by the "huge" ratings Roseanne had received.

“It was pretty exciting, I'll tell you that much," Barr said of Trump's call. "They said, 'Hold please for the president of the United States of America' and [that] was about the most exciting thing ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us."

While ratings dropped slightly in following weeks, they have still been high. The series’ second outing drew a 3.9 rating in the key demo and 15.4 million viewers. Those numbers dipped slightly the following week, with a 3.4 rating and 13.5 million viewers, numbers that are nearly identical to the show’s most recent episode’s ratings.

Most of the show’s success has come from Middle America, with Tulsa, Oklahoma contributing the most to the series’ premiere ratings success with a 19.0 rating, which is 60 percent above the national average. Other top markets included Cincinnati, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Chicago, the third largest TV market in the U.S. came in fifth in the rankings, possibly propelled by the fact that Roseanne is based in Illinois.

However, the top two markets in the U.S., New York and Los Angeles, did not play large roles in the sitcom's 18.1 million viewership.


The revival has clearly taken the nation by storm, with Paramount Network announcing that they’d be airing reruns of the original series and ABC quickly picking the series up for a second season.

“We’re thrilled that America has welcomed the Conner family back into their homes. The show is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it left the air 21 years ago. We can’t wait to see what the Roseanne team has in store for next year,” said Channing Dungey, the President of ABC Entertainment.