The return of “Roseanne” was a smashing success; in fact, it didn’t just surpass ratings expectations, it blew them out of the water, dominating Tuesday night and bringing in viewers of all ages, including a large number too young to have been fans of her original show. In total, the season premiere brought in a stunning 18.2 million viewers, earned a 5.2 rating in the all-important 18-49 demo, and out-gained her original show’s famous finale by 10%.
While industry execs have been doing some “soul-searching” after watching Roseanne’s pro-Trump character take the torch to Hollywood’s anti-Trump script, Trump personally called Roseanne to congratulate her on the show’s “huge” success.
According to The New York Times, Trump called the 65-year-old star and former presidential candidate (Remember this?) on Wednesday to thank her for breaking ranks with her Hollywood peers and openly supporting him, which she’s done personally and her character will now be doing weekly on her show. A man who fully understands the significance of ratings, Trump congratulated her for its 18.2 million viewers. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the call to the press Wednesday.
Barr discussed the phone call with Trump on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “We just kind of had a private conversation but we talked about a lot of things, and he’s just happy for me,” she told host George Stephanopoulos, The Hill reports. “I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years. And it was just a friendly conversation about working, and television, and ratings,” she added. “He really understands ratings and how they measure things. And that’s kind of been an interest of mine too.”
As part of the promotional campaign for the show’s revival, Roseanne made the rounds on the network, including a visit to Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show, where she again openly stated her support for Trump and took a moment to rip Kimmel a new one over the Left’s radical turn. When Kimmel said he was “shocked” that Barr supported Trump because she was “a socially liberal person in general,” she shot back:
“I’m still the same! You all moved. You all went so f***ing far out, you lost everything. I mean seriously, a lot of your audience, and including me. I just want to say this Jimmy, a lot of us, no matter who we voted for, we don’t want to see our president fail, you know?” she said. The audience applauded her statement. Video via ABC:
As for the fallout from those “huge” ratings, as more details have emerged, Hollywood has been forced to do some “soul searching,” as Deadline puts it. If “Roseanne” continues to bring in the big numbers, perhaps ABC will consider reviving “Home Improvement” to help undo some of the bad feelings after it canceled the widely popular, conservative Tim Allen series “Last Man Standing”:
ABC was strongly criticized by the right in May when it canceled Allen’s long-running sitcom Last Man Standing despite its strong viewership. It was a rare broadcast comedy with a central character who is a political conservative and devout Christian adhering to traditional American values that appeals to viewers in the Heartland.
With The Middle going away, there is a vacuum in representing middle-class families on broadcast TV, and the success of Roseanne no doubt will help get more blue-color sitcoms on the air. We might see that happening as soon as next month when the broadcast networks pick their new series for next season out of the dozens of pilots currently in production.
Read Deadline’s full breakdown of the ratings here.