The first episode of the Roseanne spinoff, The Conners aired on Tuesday night, in which we learned that reports of the titular character’s death were not greatly exaggerated. The once-great matriarch of the Conner household did indeed die of an opiate overdose, and now the rest of the family is left picking up the pieces. Whether or not tried and true Roseanne fans will stick around remains to be seen, however preliminary numbers are in for the premiere and they are significantly down from when the Roseanne reboot premiered earlier this year.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Conners drew a 7.5 rating, which was down about 35 percent from the 11.6 for the Roseanne March premiere. That said, it was still Tuesday’s second highest-rated show, close on the heels of CBS’s NCIS, which drew an 8.1 rating.
It’s also worth noting — before Trumpers take credit for the drop in ratings — that when you take into consideration the massive hype that surrounded the original reboot compared to The Conners, the discrepancy is really not all that shocking:
The preliminary numbers for The Conners are below Roseanne’s metered-market average of 8.8 last season but a tiny bit ahead where the latter show ended in May. That puts The Conners on track for a debut in the 11 million-viewer range, in line with what several ratings-watchers predicted for the show.
In a new interview with Hollywood Reporter, Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene, says she hopes viewers will give the show a chance, and explained why they decided to go the route they did with the reboot.
“We talked about a lot of things, a lot of scenarios,” she said. “I can speak to why we landed where we did, which is, ‘What happens when you have a missing matriarch?’ It’s happened to people all over the world at some point in their journey. It redefines a family, and people have to take on different roles.”
“That felt like the most authentic story we could tell and something people can relate to,” she added. Time will certainly tell.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)