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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Cincinnati Loved The 'Roseanne' Reboot

ABC Television
The 2018 "Roseanne" cast includes, from L-R, son DJ (Michael Fishman), his daughter Mary (Jayden Rey), grandson Mark (Ames McNamara), Dan and Roseanne Conner (John Goodman, Roseanne Barr) and daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert).

Cincinnati loved the return of ABC's "Roseanne," along with the rest of America, so ABC will repeat it 7 p.m. Sunday, April 1, on channels 9 and 22.

"Roseanne" drew 18.2 million viewers on Tuesday, averaging an 11.9 household rating and 20 percent audience share in the 56 Nielsen Media markets with meters. Cincinnati ranked No. 2 for "Roseanne" with a 17.1 rating and 26 percent audience share.  Tulsa was No. 1. with a 19.0 rating.  

The rest of the top 10 markets: 3. Kansas City, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Chicago, 6. Oklahoma City, 7. Detroit, 8. Buffalo, 9. St. Louis, and 10. Indianapolis, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Credit ABC Television
Roseanne and Dan complain about the high cost of their medicines while sorting pills.

In Cincinnati, the 17.1 rating was slightly less than the combined viewership (18.6 rating) for CBS' "NCIS," NBC's "The Voice" and Fox's "Lethal Weapon" (18.6 rating).

All of the original "Roseanne" cast members returned for the revival, including John Goodman as Roseanne's (Roseanne Barr) husband, who died in the final season 21 years ago.

The 2018 update features the blue-collar Conners living in the same house with (spoiler alert!) unemployed daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and her two children. The extended family includes waitress daughter Becky (Lecy Goranson) planning to be a surrogate mother to make extra money; son DJ (Michael Fishman) with an African-American daughter (Jayden Rey); and Roseanne's sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), a retired police officer turned life coach and a Democrat who clashes with Roseanne, a Trump supporter.

Credit ABC Television
Roseanne and Jackie talk politics in the kitchen.

Barr, a long-time Trump supporter, told the Television Critics Association in January that the show would deal with current political topics, like her original ABC sitcom (1988-97). "I've always had it be a true reflection of the society we live in," she said. "Half the country voted for him (Trump), half of them didn't. It's just realistic."

On Thursday in Northeastern Ohio, Trump boasted about the "Roseanne" ratings and said he had called Barr.

"Look at 'Roseanne!' I called her yesterday! Look at her ratings!" Trump said.  "They were unbelievable! Over 18 million people! And it was about us! They haven't figured it out! The fake news hasn't quite figured it out yet…But they will, and when they do, they'll become much less fake."

Stephen Colbert on his "Late Show" noted Thursday night that another Trump-related program got bigger ratings this week. The "60 Minutes" interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels talking about her relationship with Trump drew 22 million viewers. In Cincinnati, "60 Minutes" on WKRC-TV (Channel 12) drew a 20.2 rating and 32 percent audience share –more than double the combined viewership for network programs on Channels 5, 9 and 19 (9.25 rating).

Credit ABC Television
A young Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Roseanne talk In the second season Halloween episode on Oct. 31, 1989.

A few more ratings notes:

--"Roseanne" gave ABC its highest ratings for a scripted program this year, and second among all scripted series to NBC's "This Is Us" following the Super Bowl (26.97 million viewers), Variety said.

By comparison, NBC's revival of "Will & Grace" in September drew 10.2 million viewers, and CBS' "Young Sheldon" prequel to the "Big Bang Theory" attracted 17.2 million, Variety said.

--Tuesday "Roseanne" ratings were 10 percent higher in viewers over the audience for its series finale (16.6 million) on May 20, 1997. But it did not top ratings for some "Roseanne" episodes earlier in the 1996-97 season, ABC said.

Episodes from the first season (1988-89) of "Roseanne" air at 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. weekdays on the Laff TV network on WCPO-TV (Channel 9.3).

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.