Roseanne Barr-Less ‘The Conners’ Sees 25 Percent Ratings Drop

October 25, 2018 Updated: October 25, 2018

The second episode of “The Conners,” the spinoff of “Roseanne,” lost about 25 percent of its viewers from the series debut last week.

The show’s Oct. 23 episode scored a 1.7 rating among adults ages 18-49 and had 7.9 million viewers, TheWrap reported. The show’s debut had 10.5 million viewers and a 2.3 rating.

What’s more, first episode of “The Conners” last week had lost 55 percent of the viewers who watched the return of “Roseanne” in March, according to Entertainment Weekly. At the time, the premiere drew 18.2 million viewers.

There has been speculation that many tuned in to watch the debut of “The Conners” to see how Barr’s character would be killed off. The “Roseanne” reboot was taken off the air after Barr made a tweet about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, likening her to the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.”

“The Conners” also was going up against Game 1 of the World Series, featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox.

Actress Roseanne Barr
Actress Roseanne Barr waves on her arrival to the 75th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, on Jan. 7, 2018. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters File Photo)


The airing of “The Conners” premiere confirmed reports that Roseanne’s character, named Roseanne, died of a drug overdose. It prompted a response from Barr on Oct. 16.

“While we wish the very best for the cast and production crew of The Conners, all of whom are deeply dedicated to their craft and were Roseanne’s cherished colleagues, we regret that ABC chose to cancel Roseanne by killing off the Roseanne Conner character. That it was done through an opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show,” Barr said via the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Facebook page.

“This was a choice the network did not have to make. Roseanne was the only show on television that directly addressed the deep divisions threatening the very fabric of our society,” she added in the statement.

She continued: “Specifically, the show promoted the message that love and respect for one another’s personhood should transcend differences in background and ideological discord. The show brought together characters of different political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds in one, unified family, a rarity in modern American entertainment. Above all else, the show celebrated a strong, matriarchal woman in a leading role, something we need more of in our country.”

ABC Regrets Firing

Before the premiere of “The Conners,” a report emerged that ABC executives regretted firing Barr and taking “Roseanne” off the air.

“We didn’t think it through properly. What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben [Sherwood] and Channing [Dungey] who should have launched an investigation,” said one executive in a Daily Mail report in October. “This would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers and cast members to determine the best decision.”