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‘Roseanne’ revival premieres to millions

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Roseanne Barr and John Goodman in “Roseanne.” (Adam Rose/ABC)

A Trump-loving “Roseanne” is ratings gold for ABC.

The reboot of the sitcom starring Roseanne Barr premiered in the Tuesday 8 p.m. hour to an audience of 18.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. The series was one of prime time’s biggest hits during its run from 1988 to 1997.

On Tuesday, “Roseanne” delivered the largest audience for any network sitcom episode since Sept. 22, 2014, when CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” drew 17.8 million viewers. The only scripted network program to score more viewers in the 2017-18 season is the post-Super Bowl episode of NBC’s “This Is Us,” which had 27 million.

The revived “Roseanne” reunited the cast of the original series that was praised for honestly portraying the travails of a working-class family.

The new version received raised eyebrows ahead of the premiere because of Barr’s outspoken support for President Trump, which has been written into her character on the show.

That position has surprised a lot of “Roseanne” fans and is one of the topics tackled in the first episode. Roseanne’s feud with her sister, Hillary Clinton supporter Jackie Metcalf, illustrates of how many families were torn apart by the presidential election.

“There’s been several moments when that has been brought up,” Barr says. “I try to keep a lid on my emotions on this. What I think is the way lots of things are never spoken of, and it’s scary. It’s a deeply personal and cultural thing for me. I don’t want to go into it, but I will someday. All I know is that there’s a lot of hate. I call it ‘hater-ism.’”

The 18.2 million viewers who watched Tuesday topped the number for the final episode of the original series in May 1997 — 16.6 million — when the TV landscape was far less competitive.


“Star Trek” fans alert: Adam Nimoy, son of the late Leonard Nimoy, and Terry Farrell, who appeared in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” got married in a civil ceremony at San Francisco’s City Hall on March 26; they picked the day to commemorate Leonard’s birthday; he would have been 87. There are cute photos on trekmovie.com.


Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit serving terminally ill children, is hosting a hospital gown design contest, with finalists from Redwood City in the running: Ava, a 13-year-old Girl Scout, and her brother  Max, 10, designed a rocket-ship themed gown for their adorable 2-year-old cousin Benny, who has a rare cancer. To hear their story and vote for them, visit starlight.org.

In related news, San Jose high school student Jasmine Chahal is being recognized for her Girl Scout Gold Award project: She designed and hand-sewed 200 infant IV dresses for families with babies in El Camino Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The teen, who was born prematurely, spent the first 26 weeks of her life at the Mountain View facility.


Actress Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) is 50 … Model Elle Macpherson is 55 … Comedian Amy Sedaris is 57. 

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