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ABC orders Season 2 of 'Roseanne' reboot

Just days after "Roseanne" made a blockbuster return, ABC has announced a second season of the sitcom.The move...

Posted: Mar 31, 2018 1:52 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2018 1:52 PM

Just days after "Roseanne" made a blockbuster return, ABC has announced a second season of the sitcom.

The move was a no-brainer. ABC was in need of a new hit show, and "Roseanne" is the biggest out-of-the-box hit to come along in years.

The network's announcement on Friday actually called it an "11th season" renewal -- a nod to the show's roots in the 1990s.

"We're thrilled that America has welcomed the Conner family back into their homes. The show is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it left the air 21 years ago. We can't wait to see what the 'Roseanne' team has in store for next year," Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.

The "Roseanne" reboot has been the talk of Hollywood ever since initial ratings from Nielsen showed that 18 million people tuned in to it on Tuesday night.

Related: 'Roseanne' comes roaring back

The ratings home run is a testament to the enduring power of big-tent broadcast television.

With one day of DVR and video-on-demand viewing counted, the new total for the premiere is 21.9 million viewers.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump wrapped himself in the "Roseanne" ratings news. On Wednesday he called Barr -- a longtime friend -- to celebrate. Then on Thursday, he touted the show's success during a speech in Ohio.

"Look at Roseanne -- look at her ratings," he said. "They were unbelievable. Over 18 million people! And it was about us!"

"This is 100% in Trump's sweet spot," New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik tweeted Thursday. He said Trump obsesses over ratings, "bashes Hollywood but craves its validation," and "divides the world into things that are 'pro TRUMP' and 'against TRUMP.'"

Noting Trump's disinterest in scripted programming, Poniewozik said "I doubt he will ever watch Roseanne, but in his mind, a 'pro TRUMP' thing won."

The sitcom's red-state appeal is a factor for sure -- but it's not the only one. In fact, there's been some backlash to the idea that the show's launch was Trump-fueled.

"The 'Roseanne' narrative has gotten out of control," former Amazon Studios executive Matthew Ball tweeted.

He pointed out that the series "was the biggest show on TV" in 1990, so "it is no surprise that with this base plus press attention, audiences turned up. That was the point."

An ABC source made a similar point on Thursday, saying, "The Trump of it all is exaggerated."

The source described ABC's view of the ratings victory, citing many other reasons why the reboot clicked: "Wickedly funny. Beloved characters. Emotional."

The show had a built-in fan base from its previous incarnation on ABC. It benefited from strong writing and producing and a "huge ABC promotional push," the source added.

The first two episodes of Season 1 aired on Tuesday. There's not as much Trump talk in the seven remaining episodes, producers and executives told The New York Times on Thursday. But there's lots of social commentary: Unemployment, health care, poverty, opioid abuse and single motherhood are all addressed.

Related: It makes perfect sense that Roseanne is a Trump voter

Dungey said "Roseanne" was part of a post-election strategy by ABC.

Up until Election Day in 2016, "we had spent a lot of time looking for diverse voices in terms of people of color and people from different religions and even people with a different perspective on gender," Dungey told The Times. "But we had not been thinking nearly enough about economic diversity and some of the other cultural divisions within our own country. That's been something we've been really looking at with eyes open since that time."

Like the original "Roseanne" in the 1990s, the show portrays a working class family. Barr is both a Trump supporter in real life and on the show.

"People gather round and they see themselves in this family," Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood told The Times. "It speaks to a large number of people in the country who don't see themselves on television very often."

Related: 'Roseanne' reboot is damn good. The star deserves none of the credit

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted about "Roseanne" on Thursday, including the show in a list of other Disney brands: "Black Panther," "Modern Family," "Coco," "Black-ish," "Zootopia," "Moana," "Fresh Off The Boat," "Avengers," "Star Wars," "A Wrinkle In Time."

Iger said they're "all reflections of the wide variety of people, backgrounds and opinions of the world we live in."

Now there's lots of chatter in entertainment industry circles about "Roseanne" copycats.

CNN commentator and former RNC communications director Doug Heye said no one should have been surprised by the show's performance.

"Obviously, the 'Roseanne' numbers are absolutely huge, but I think it's only a surprise to, and I kind of hate the term, 'coastal elites,' who don't know, don't get and don't want to get, conservatives," he said in an email. "How many times have we seen a super strong opening for a Christian movie that the Hollywood promotional industrial complex never talked about?"

Expectations will be high and remain so for the rest of the season. The ABC source said there's no downside to having Trump talking about the series.

Simply put, it's "more attention," the source said.

-- A version of this story first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. Subscribe here!

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36287

Reported Deaths: 1249
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
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Washington73713
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Lee62822
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Grenada6049
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Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
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Simpson4433
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Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
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Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
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Coosa661
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