‘Roseanne’s ratings are encouraging

Talker wins timeslot in 12 of 40 markets

I am Roseanne, hear me roar: The opening day Nielsen numbers for “The Roseanne Show” weren’t as big as some were expecting, but the early indications of viewer interest were positive for the King World talker.

“The Roseanne Show,” which closed out its premiere seg with Sandra Bernhard belting out the 1972 Helen Reddy hit “I Am Woman,” earned a 3.4 household rating and 11 share in Nielsen’s 40 overnight metered markets.

That number was right on par with the average month-ago and year-ago timeslot performances of its stations in the 40 overnight markets, which cover 60% of U.S. TV households. “Roseanne” also posted a solid 13% increase over the average lead-in rating of a 3.0/10.

There were expectations that Roseanne’s star power, combined with the curiosity factor and the strength of its station lineup, would result in a big first-day number followed by an inevitable tapering of viewership. But the best news for “Roseanne” and King World came in the ratings breakdowns of the show by 15-minute intervals in the individual overnight markets.

In many markets, “Roseanne” increased its audience share over the course of the hour — a key measure of how well a show is holding, and even growing, its viewership. Growth of audience share in afternoon timeslots is particularly impressive, a feat “Roseanne” managed in New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Indianapolis, among other markets.

2nd in Gotham

Overall, “Roseanne” ranked first in its timeslot in 12 of the 40 overnight markets. At 10 a.m. on KNBC Los Angeles, “Roseanne” was second to KCBS’ “The Price Is Right” with a 2.7/11, a 23% increase over its “Leeza” lead-in of a 2.2/9. In Gotham, “Roseanne” ranked second on WNBC at 3 p.m. with a 4.4/12, which marked a 110% spike over its “Another World” lead-in of a 2.1/7.

Also bowing Monday was King World’s revival of “Hollywood Squares,” sporting the quick-witted Whoopi Goldberg in the center square and Tom Bergeron as host. The gameshow strip, airing in mostly access timeslots, got off to a solid start, scoring a 5.1/10 in the overnight markets. “Squares” posted a 13% increase over its average lead-in of a 4.5/9, and was comfortably ahead of month-ago and year-ago timeslot averages.

Finally, Worldvision’s courtshow strip “Judge Joe Brown” debuted Monday to a healthy 2.2/7. “Joe Brown,” with a generally weaker timeslot and station lineup than “Roseanne” or “Squares,” was comfortably ahead of its year-ago timeslot aver-ages (1.7/7) and essentially on par with its average lead-in (2.0/7).

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