Roseanne Bests The Walking Dead Season Finale in Ratings


The Roseanne revival is proving to be a ratings’ powerhouse, even besting The Walking Dead season finale last week.

Call it a win for the old-fashioned network sitcom. The ratings for the April 10 episode of ABC’s Roseanne revival surpassed those of Sunday’s finale of The Walking Dead.

A one-time ratings’ juggernaut, The Walking Dead has seen a dip in viewership over the past couple seasons, starting with the divisive arrival of Negan in the Season 7 premiere.

But its ratings were still strong, making it unlikely a network show would beat it. Given the big noise made about audiences’ turn from network to cable series, Roseanne‘s win over the zombie show is especially surprising.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

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Here’s the nitty-gritty: CinemaBlend reports that Roseanne boasted 13.77 million viewers in Live+Same Day ratings, while The Walking Dead had 9.81 million. Roseanne also had a 3.5 in the valuable 18-49 demographic, while The Walking Dead scored a 3.4.

These numbers made Roseanne the number one show for the week of April 9. In contrast, The Walking Dead‘s ratings were the lowest seen for a finale since its first season.

The revival of Roseanne has been a ratings’ winner since its premiere in March. A lot of its success could be chalked up to the nostalgia that’s fueling many recent reboots, like Will & Grace and Fuller House. But Roseanne has outpaced those titles and, surprisingly, has had a strong showing with younger audiences.

Roseanne‘s combination of topicality and humor may have helped draw in these viewers. Also, the sitcom stands out for its exploration of a working-class family, still a rarity on TV these days.

Roseanne could be one network show that both Trump supporters and detractors agree on. Roseanne Barr is an outspoke supporter of the president, something she shares with her character, Roseanne Conner.

On the other hand, despite the odd misstep, the show is fairly inclusive, incorporating an African-American granddaughter and a grandson who likes to wear girls’ clothing.

In other words, Roseanne could be the rare network sitcom that has something for everyone. And backs it all up with humor.

In contrast, The Walking Dead is getting a bit long in the tooth. Character deaths used to lead to big ratings, but that hasn’t been the case this season. Even the much-discussed move to kill off Rick’s son, Carl, didn’t garner the ratings’ revival the show may have hoped for.

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Still, the show remains popular and AMC has already renewed it for season nine. Roseanne has also received a renewal for next season. That means we can continue to see these shows go head-to-head in the ratings’ game for at least another year.