“Roseanne” returned Tuesday bigger than ever: The ABC revival drew 18.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in the adults 18-to-49 demographic across two episodes, pulling in more eyeballs than the 16.6 million who tuned in for the 1997 series finale in the pre-time-shifted viewing era. “Roseanne” is also now the biggest premiere of any show of this season. The previous record holder, “Young Sheldon,” nabbed 17.2 million and a 3.8. “Roseanne” also bested another classic sitcom revival, “Will & Grace,” which opened to 10.2 million and a 3.0 in September. It’s a massive bow, but is it massive enough to help “Roseanne” score its first Best Comedy Series Emmy nomination ever?
Despite being one of the biggest shows of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, “Roseanne” never received a comedy series nomination during its original run; it only won four trophies overall, three for Laurie Metcalf and one for Roseanne Barr. You could chalk it up to the show’s middle America appeal not being “snobby” enough for voters. The show’s DNA hasn’t changed with the new crop of episodes — especially with Donald Trump supporter Roseanne (real and fictional) — but this type of buzz and success helps if it can sustain it. Don’t forget — DVR numbers will bump up the ratings even more. Few shows get these types of numbers these days, and with the membership-wide voting system, popularity goes a long way now.
Of course, we can’t put all our stock into the premiere ratings. The nostalgia factor always lures people in initially, but once it wears off, ratings usually fall back down to earth. As long as “Roseanne” doesn’t suffer a steep decline, and it likely won’t, it will still be a huge success.
Currently, “Roseanne” is well out of our top seven comedy series predictions, in 12th place. But don’t be surprised if you see it inch up over the next few weeks.
Will “Roseanne”‘s ratings help it crack the Emmy comedy race? Vote below!
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