Never underestimate the power of Roseanne. ABC's iconic series from Roseanne Barr returned with huge numbers on Tuesday, March 27. The one-hour premiere netted 18.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
Roseanne's revival ratings are bigger than the audience it had for its one-hour series finale in 1997. "Into That Good Night" had 16.6 million viewers—and this was before DVR and time-shifting capabilities. Expect Roseanne's numbers to go up when that's factored in. The real test now will be whether the sitcom can retain this audience for the next seven installments. The cast of Roseanne has made it clear they want to continue past this nine-episode season and if the numbers continue, seems like they'll get their wish.
Ratings for revivals are generally big, but Roseanne's is tops for recent shows. When The X-Files returned in 2016, 16.2 million viewers watched (6.1 in the 18-49 demographic). After DVR and on-demand was added, the numbers jumped to 21.5 million and a 8.3 rating. Fox renewed The X-Files for a second revival season that wrapped in March 2018.
Will & Grace returned in 2017 with a 3.0 rating and 10.2 million viewers. After DVR, that jumped to 15.9 million and a 5.0 rating. NBC has already renewed the comedy for an additional two seasons.
Roseanne returned after more than 20 years off the air with the entire original cast—Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman—reprising their roles. The cast of the revival also includes Sarah Chalke, Emma Kenney, Ames McNamara and Jayden Rey. Familiar faces like Johnny Galecki, Estelle Parsons, Natalie West and Sandra Bernhard will pop up over the course of the revival.
Roseanne airs Tuesdays, 8 p.m. on ABC.