'Roseanne' reboot roars with 18 million-plus viewers for its debut

PHOTO: Roseanne Barr and John Goodman star in "Roseanne."PlayAdam Rose/ABC
WATCH 'Roseanne' reboot premieres with over 18 million viewers for its debut

The "Roseanne" revival debuted to record numbers Tuesday night.

The ABC reboot drew an estimated 18.2 million viewers, a huge audience considering modern TV viewing habits. What's more, the second episode, which aired right after the first, scored even better: 18.6 million viewers tuned in, according to Deadline.

Those numbers were more than enough to rank "Roseanne" as the biggest series debut this season, topping CBS' "Young Sheldon," which drew 17.2 million.

It also tops by 10 percent the audience for the final episode of the original "Roseanne," broadcast in May 1997 at the end of the show's original run.

PHOTO: Lecy Goranson and Laurie Metcalf star in Roseanne.Adam Rose/ABC
Lecy Goranson and Laurie Metcalf star in "Roseanne."

The Tuesday night reboot scored on social media, too. It was Twitter's top trending topic.

Star Roseanne Barr even thanked her fans on Twitter for making the debut a huge success. "U guys made it all worth it! thanks so very much!" she wrote.

The show was widely praised for fairly portraying a family with differing political views.

Barr was adamant that her TV persona be a President Donald Trump supporter, like she is in real life.

Laurie Metcalf, who plays Roseanne's sister Jackie, clashes with her on political issues. The rest of the Conner family have various political beliefs, but the show is more about family than politics.

Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene, told ABC Radio that she's excited that the new Roseanne isn't shy about showing views that are different from those usually seen on TV.

"Each side, we're both guilty of being so afraid of the other side's point of view, and not talking to each other and assuming everybody aligns 100 percent with their candidate, instead of seeing what each individual's point of view is," she said.

Gilbert was instrumental in the show returning: the reboot was born from a "Roseanne" sketch with John Goodman on "The Talk," where Gilbert is a co-host. Now, producing as well as starring in the reboot, Gilbert remains modest about her role.

"Honestly, people are giving me credit for getting it together, but honestly it was like kindling waiting to be ignited," she said. "I think everybody wanted to do it, and it just took somebody asking, 'Hey, will you do it?' and everybody just jumped on board."

ABC News' Stephen Iervolino contributed to this report

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