Roseanne—Without Roseanne
ADWEEK|October 15, 2018

ABC Tries To Salvage Its Roseanne Barr Debacle With The Conners.

Jason Lynch

Few recent TV shows have exploded on the scene—and then imploded— with the force and speed of ABC’s Roseanne revival last spring. The sitcom debuted in March to 18.2 million viewers and a 5.2 rating in the 18-49 demo, making it the most-watched comedy telecast in more than three years, and led all entertainment shows last season with a 5.3 C7 rating. But just two weeks after the show and star Roseanne Barr were the toast of its May upfront, ABC shockingly canceled Roseanne, following a racist tweet from Barr, leaving the network without its most prized asset going into this year’s upfront.

Now the network is giving itself a Roseanne do-over, bringing back a Barr-free spinoff this Tuesday, with the rest of the cast intact, called The Conners. Buyers are expecting a large audience for the show’s premiere, but are taking a wait and see approach about the program’s long-term prospects without Barr.

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