‘The Conners’ Poised To Be The Most Successful Sitcom Revival, Keeping Most Of Its Audience Despite Big Change

The transition from 'Roseanne' to 'The Conners' cost the show considerably in the ratings, but it's still an ABC powerhouse sitcom.

the cast of the conners
ABC/Robert Trachtenberg / Walt Disney TV

The transition from 'Roseanne' to 'The Conners' cost the show considerably in the ratings, but it's still an ABC powerhouse sitcom.

The Conners premiered on Wednesday night for its second (or third, depending on your point of view) season, and if its ratings hold, it will likely become the most successful sitcom reboot of the past few years, IndieWire reports.

Officially, The Conners started its second season this week, in its current form and with its current cast. Unofficially, it’s the show’s third season, in a way, as the show is effectively the same as its earlier incarnation, the Roseanne reboot, albeit without its namesake star and with a new name. The show was retooled after star Roseanne Barr was fired for offensive tweets, and her character was written out of the show, having died from a drug overdose within the show’s storyline.

Technicalities aside, one thing is certain: the show is a winner for ABC. And in fact, it’s likely to become the most successful in the recent wave of reboots of classic TV shows.

These past few years have seen several years-old, and in some cases decades-old, TV shows come back to life, either on network TV or on streaming services. Most have come and gone; some lasted a few years, having done reasonably well for their respective networks or streaming services. Others failed to get off the ground.

Not so for The Conners.

The show has consistently garnered strong ratings for ABC, with the network referring to it as its “#1 new comedy.”

That’s not to suggest that The Conners hasn’t experienced some significant growing pains. Debuting with 13 million viewers as Roseanne back in 2017, by the end of the season, The Conners had lost a good chunk of its audience, down to 9 million viewers. Even so, that was enough to make it ABC’s highest-performing comedy.

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With no signs of slowing down, The Conners might be here to stay.

The same can’t be said of other reboots. Lost now to the mists of TV history are reboots of Fuller House and Arrested Development, both of which were much-ballyhooed when they were brought back, and both of which lasted a few seasons but are now gone. Others, such as CBS’ reboot of Murphy Brown, went nowhere fast and didn’t make it to a second season.

Meanwhile, another successful (comparatively) reboot is also coming to an end. NBC’s revival of Will & Grace has done well in the ratings and will debut its third season when it drops this year. However, NBC has already announced that the third season of the Will & Grace reboot will be its last.