Debut of Roseanne-Free 'The Conners' Turns into Ratings Disaster for ABC


It may come as no surprise to you that the ABC spinoff debut of “The Conners” sans Roseanne Barr, the show’s original star, wasn’t the ratings boon that ABC had hoped it would be.

Network execs hastily decided to cancel the show reboot and fire the star, Roseanne Barr, in May after she made politically incorrect remarks about Valerie Jarret on Twitter.

And so ABC issued this statement pulling the plug on the show:

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It didn’t take long for ABC to try to scramble together a substitute for the half hour hit comedy.

Before the end of May, ABC had already concocted a plan to use the rest of the cast in a show about Roseanne, without Roseanne. We later came to know it as “The Conners.”

MSN reported, “There could be a scenario in the works where ABC salvages significant parts of Roseanne without having to say goodbye to some of the best actors on television (here’s looking at you, Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman). Though ABC made a swift decision Tuesday to cancel the successful reboot, EW has learned that ABC has not exactly washed its hands of the family comedy.”

Did you watch the debut of "The Connors?"

ABC put a lot of effort and money into promoting the show between May and October when it debuted on Tuesday.

Alas, there just wasn’t the splash they had hoped.

“Down 35% from the Roseanne opener, the debut of The Conners was just 4% better than the mothership series finale in metered market numbers. In fact, despite a massive marketing push, The Conners wasn’t even the highest rated show of Tuesday night. Though The Conners was ahead of This Is Us by 22% in the early numbers, it was the fourth episode of the 16th season of CBS’ NCIS that topped the night with a 8.1/13 in metered market results,” the Deadline Hollywood reported.

“The Conners” also ranked 2.4/10 in the 18-49 demographic with 10.6 million viewers.

So how did they move past the absence of Roseanne in the new “The Conners” premiere?

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They killed off Roseanne’s character blaming opioid overdose as the cause.

“The episode, titled ‘Keep on Trucking,’ confirmed previous reports that Roseanne Conner died of an opioid overdose. Roseanne Barr didn’t much appreciate that plot twist, saying in a statement that the ‘opioid overdose lent an unnecessary grim and morbid dimension to an otherwise happy family show,'” according to Entertainment Weekly.

On Monday before “The Conners” debut, USA Today reported that John Goodman lamented the void left unfilled by Barr’s absence.

Goodman said, “It felt great to be back, but there’s a hollow center. I miss Rosie real bad.”

Goodman worked for nine years on the original series with Barr starting in 1988.

And just what did Barr herself have to say about the new series that replaced her own?

Roseanne Barr and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach issued this statement together to give everyone an idea of where they are on the new ABC series.

“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,” the statement read.

And then in real Roseanne Barr style, Barr sent a Twitter message with possible plans to resurrect herself from the dead.

I wonder if the new series will continue to hold the interest of the audience without the real draw of Roseanne when the novelty and curiosity of the premiere wear off. ABC is hoping it will, but I think it’s probably another dud.

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An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.
Lisa Payne-Naeger is passionate about all things related to influencing the configuration of our culture … family, education, politics. She’s a former school board member, turned homeschooling mom. In her quest to raise and educate her now-adult children, she has pretty much navigated every challenge and road block possible. Crusading to make the world a better place for them has led her to scrutinize the politically correct directives that steer society.
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