Does Roseanne’s comedy trump her politics?

April 9, 2018

Bar none, writer, comedian and actress Roseanne Barr is the least likely person to produce a sitcom that mollifies her audience of any showrunner on the scene in the past 20 years.

Her rebooted show—revived (along with TV husband Dan Conner) after its nine-year run ended in 1997—is shaping up to be as successful and outrageous as its forerunner.

The return of the eponymously named Roseanne on March 27 for an eight-episode run on ABC-TV attracted more than 27.3 million viewers (including DVR watchers)—an audience for which President Donald Trump took credit in a congratulatory call to Barr the next day.

But—however much her lower-middle-class Republican character supports the POTUS on the show—the laugh-packed script was largely responsible for the ratings, according to findings of an Economist/YouGov poll released on April 5.

In fact, nearly equal numbers of Democrats (31%), Independents (30%) and Republicans (30%) viewed the premiere—while 50% of viewers said they approve of Trump and 45% said they disapprove of him. Indeed, 25% of viewers said they had voted for Hillary Clinton, while 30% had voted for Trump.

But more importantly, viewers weren’t all that willing to cite politics as a reason they watched the show. They watched – mostly – because they always did in the past– and because they believed Roseanne was funny.

More than half of those who regularly watched the first Roseanne series tuned in to the reboot.Only 18% of viewers said they watched because the show supported the President. And just over one-third of Republicans and Trump voters said the same.

 

 

Research contact: kfrankovic@yahoo.com

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