ABC’s Roseanne-without-Roseanne Barr spin-off The Conners couldn’t come anywhere close to the blockbuster premiere rating of its predecessor, yet still had a very strong number that led Tuesday night in the ratings.
The debut airing delivered 10.5 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49.
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.
When Roseanne returned on ABC earlier last March, the first episode delivered a staggering 18.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49 in the overnight Nielsens. The series then fell from that height and its finale concluded with 10.3 million viewers and a 2.4 rating.
ABC did not expect Roseanne premiere-level numbers, of course. Internal industry marketing research suggested audience interest in the spin-off was tracking about half that of viewer interest in Roseanne before its return.