“The Conners” put up fairly strong ratings on Tuesday night — until one compares them to the ratings for “Roseanne,” the series the sitcom is meant to replace.
“The Conners” scored a 2.3 rating in the much-coveted age 18-49 demographic. That’s not bad, but the premiere of the 10th season of “Roseanne” drew a 5.2 rating in that demo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The Conners” was also down in overall viewers. The premiere of “The Conners” scored 10.46 million viewers, which is a steep 43 percent decline from the premiere of “Roseanne,” which scored 18.44 million viewers.
The ratings for “The Conners” aren’t just down from the premiere of “Roseanne,” either; they are also down from the season 10 average “Roseanne” earned.
The same-day average last season for “Roseanne” — meaning people who watched it when it first aired on television — was a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 13.48 million viewers.
If “The Conners” were an original show that had come out of nowhere, its ratings would be impressive because it’s actually the highest-rated series premiere this fall.
However, the show’s ratings inevitably need to be compared to “Roseanne,” and it took a steep fall from those numbers. It’s important to remember, too, that ratings always slip from a premiere episode, and many people likely only tuned into “The Conners” to see how the show dealt with the departure of Roseanne Barr and her character. (She was killed off by an opioid overdose.)
So expect to see some very sharp declines in the weeks to come.
“The Conners” premiere just didn’t capture the magic of “Roseanne.” Without Barr’s unique writing style and perspective, the show has devolved into a forgettable sitcom with no real authenticity or bite. The abilities of the cast are essentially wasted on what is just an excuse to cash in on Barr’s story and characters without her involvement.
Barr herself was not a fan of “The Conners.” The comedian released a joint public statement with Rabbi Schmuley Boteach — on whose podcast she has appeared before — about the premiere of the new show, which read in part, “While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of ‘The Conners,’ all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show.”
Read more reactions to “The Conners.”
And check out a clip from the premiere of “The Conners,” below: