Comedy Central special draws only 2.6 million viewers

Comedy Central’s roast of Roseanne got lost in a competitive Sunday night.

Initial telecast of the 90-minute special drew 2.6 million viewers, a huge falloff from the cabler’s last roast, when 6.4 million watched Charlie Sheen get skewered in September. It’s also down from the 3.5 million who tuned in for the David Hasselhoff roast in August 2010.

When a repeat airing is included, the roast ratings rose to 3.6 million.

The Roseanne soiree, which began at 10 p.m., faced stiff competition: NBC drew 30 million for the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics, while A&E’s “Longmire” drew 4.3 million. On the pay cable side, HBO offered Aaron Sorkin series “The Newsroom” during the same timeslot and USA aired “Political Animals.”

Show, produced by Joel Gallen, was taped at the Hollywood Palladium. Roasters included Gilbert Gottfried, Carrie Fisher and a surprise appearance by Tom Arnold.

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