Trump haters won’t be laughing.
Roseanne Barr, one of the few outspoken supporters of President Donald Trump in the entertainment world, made a triumphant return to primetime television with a reboot of her classic sitcom this week — and a character that speaks for a whole lot of the country when it comes to the president.
And judging by the viewing audience, she won by a landslide.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the return of “Roseanne” drew more than 18 million viewers for back-to-back episodes starting at 8 p.m. eastern, with numbers rising for the second episode.
“That’s an incredibly strong start for the sitcom, thus far only committed to nine episodes,” The Hollywood Reporter noted.
It’s particularly strong, given the hostility the Republican president generally receives in television entertainment. Barr’s character on “Roseanne” supports Trump as strongly on the show as the actress does in real life.
The show boasts a range of characters who don’t agree politically, of course, and the grandson who likes to wear dresses might be a little off-putting. But just having a character in the lead role being a staunch Trump supporter is a lot more reflective of American reality than the knee-jerk anti-Republican attitudes of the rest of entertainment programming.
As Barr told an interviewer for The New York Times, “It’s about everything in our country. It’s about opioids and health care. How we deal with whole new issues that we didn’t even have before, like gender-fluid kids. How working-class people – how and why they elected Trump.”
For a show that’s appearing on the same network that canceled Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” last year, that’s a breath of fresh air.
Or, as a review by the entertainment website Vulture put it:
“The fact that a character on a 2018 sitcom can be pro-Trump and supportive of an LGBTQ middle schooler may seem like a contradiction. But this new Roseanne exists for just that reason: to point out that such contradictions can and do exist in this country.”
Trump voters understand that – and have understood that for a long time. Conservatives are pretty good at handling reality, after all. It’s just the Hollywood-media-Democrat complex that doesn’t really understand how America works.
And judging by the early returns, “Roseanne” is making an entertainment statement as well as a political one.
Roseanne got 18 million viewers last night…that’s Big Bang Theory territory.
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) March 28, 2018
It’s amazing how the left demonizes her. Maybe ask why she went from a staunch Democrat to a Trump supporter. Might just help win some elections.
Or alternatively just cast her as the devil, boycott her show and show that tolerance.
— Jesse Dieterman (@JesseDieterman) March 28, 2018
ABC catering to a hardcore specific demographic, instead of the lowest common denominator, just might work on network television.
— Tweet Whisperer (@samgillmer) March 28, 2018
Of course, not all the reviews were positive. Some liberals hated it. Some social media commenters who appeared to be Trump supporters weren’t thrilled with the characters of the cross-dressing grandson or Roseanne’s liberal sister, but that’s to be expected.
And there’s the big question of whether the huge viewership for the show’s debut Tuesday night was just a function of curiosity about the return of the sitcom after a 20-year absence from a regular primetime slot. Will the show stay a hit after the curiosity wears off?
How it all plays out is anyone’s guess. But for the moment, Barr has proven that an outspoken Trump supporter can score a major hit even in the unfriendly confines of liberal network television.
And Trump haters weren’t laughing.
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