Rumors began circulating online this week that the Roseanne Barr-less reboot of the "Roseanne" reboot was likely going to be cancelled after just 11 episodes, but the reality is that ABC has given no word on what it plans to do with "The Conners."
The rumor got going in part from a comment by ShowBiz411 about ABC suspiciously ordering just one more episode in addition to the first run of ten.
"ABC has ordered 1 extra episode to the original order of 10," noted Roger Friedman. "Sounds to me like a finale," he speculated, then joked: "Someone wakes up and says they dreamt Roseanne died. There’s a cackle from the next room. Fade to black."
Friedman's suggestion followed his breakdown of "The Conners" ratings thus far, which he suggested are trending down in problematic fashion. The show "dropped in everything last night–total viewers, key demo," he wrote. Its big Halloween episode was "beaten by everything- 'NCIS,' 'The Voice,' etc." while the show lost ground in the key demo and total viewers, which were "down by 180K."
Friedman also noted just how costly the cast of the show is for ABC. According to Variety's numbers, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, and Sara Gilbert are each paid $375,000 per episode. Add the salaries of the other key cast members and you're talking big money.
The Hollywood Reporter had a different take on the show's ratings, which it noted "improved a little" over the last week (numbers likely impacted by the World Series) and fared pretty well against the competition. But as The Wrap's breakdown shows, Friedman is correct about "The Conners" losing out to most of the competition in its time slot.
While the Roseanne-free show drew 7.7 million viewers for ABC, "The Voice" drew 8.8 million for NBC, and "NCIS" drew 12.1 million over at CBS. "The Gifted" drew just 2 million for Fox.
Overall, NBC won the ratings war Tuesday night "with a 1.7 rating/7 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 8.1 million, according to preliminary numbers," The Wrap reports. CBS and ABC tied in the ratings (1.1/5), but CBS beat out ABC significantly in total viewers, 9.7 million compared to ABC's 4.9 million. Fox came in a distant fourth, with a 0.6/3 and with 2.4 million viewers.
As The Daily Wire reported, "The Conners" premiere only managed about half of the total viewers of the premiere of "Roseanne":
"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."