“Roseanne” Still Leads in Second Week

It looks like Roseanne is gonna last longer than the greatest wall in China or that rabbit with a drum, because the second week of its revival did almost as well as the first.

The series, focusing on the lower-middle-class Conner family, originally ran from 1988 until 1997, with its revival premiering on Tuesday, March 27. The two episodes received an 18.3 rating, the highest of any sitcom in three years; its new episode, which aired on April 3, got a 15.2, constituting a 15 percent drop in viewers and a 20 percent drop in rating.

That may seem like a lot, but such dips are to be expected after people tune in for the big premiere, and ABC still had a 50 percent win over their competition in viewers. In contrast, other revivals of older programs have not done nearly as well after their first week: Will & Grace lost 30 percent, X-Files 40 percent and Twin Peaks 50 percent.

The new show depicts Roseanne and her husband, Dan (John Goodman) as older now, and dealing with their grandkids as well as their now-adult children. Most of the old actors have returned, with the notable exception of the deceased Glenn Quinn; his character, Mark Healy, is thus dead in the show also.

The first episode garnered controversy for its political content, as it focused on Trump-supporting Roseanne in a feud with her Clinton-supporting sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf); the two had apparently not spoken in about a year, but reconcile. Some reviewers have criticized the show for “normalizing” Trump supporters, while others have argued that the show’s success may well come from the fact that it treats people like the Conners, who self-depreciatingly refer to themselves as “white trash,” as sympathetic protagonists.

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