While the ABC-dropped "Last Man Standing" continues to rule the Friday night ratings battle over at Fox, the premiere of ABC's Roseanne-free spinoff of "Roseanne" aired Tuesday night and barely managed to attain half the record-setting opening of its precursor.
"Roseanne," starring the pro-Trump Roseanne Barr, shocked the television world back in March by earning a stunning 18.2 million viewers (5.1 rating in the key demo) in its debut. Before the show came to a screeching halt after Barr infamously tweeted that former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett was the love child of the Muslim Brotherhood and "Planet of the Apes," viewership had tapered off to a still solid 10.3 million (2.4 rating).
"The Conners" opened Tuesday at about where "Roseanne" left off. "The debut airing delivered 10.5 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49," Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd reports. "That’s down 55 percent from the premiere of Roseanne last spring, but was on par with Roseanne‘s finale and even managed to edge out NBC’s This Is Us for the night."
The spin-off's numbers roughly meet the expectations of marketing analysts, who found that interest in the Roseanne-less show was tracking at roughly half the viewership of the original, Hibberd notes.
Meanwhile, the Fox reboot of the widely popular show that ABC inexplicably dropped last year, "Last Man Standing," starring conservative Tim Allen, has dominated the competition on Friday nights, averaging 8 million viewers and a 1.8 rating in its premiere. Variety reports:
“Last Man Standing” debuted its seventh season on Fox Friday night, with the Tim Allen-led sitcom rocketing past its previous season numbers on ABC.
“Last Man Standing” averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 8 million viewers, airing at 8 p.m. By comparison, the Season 6 premiere on ABC drew a 1.1 rating and 6 million viewers, while that season as a whole averaged a 1.2 rating and 6.4 million viewers. In fact, the last time the series drew over 8 million viewers was back in its fourth season, and the last time it drew a 1.8 rating or better was in Season 2. It was also Fox’s most watched comedy on any night in nearly seven years, excluding NFL nights, and was by far the top-rated show of Friday night.
Hibberd notes that ABC has slipped in the overall ratings this season, falling to fourth place behind Fox, "even if you take the sports coverage that boosts ABC’s rivals out of the equation."