‘Roseanne’ and the popularity of the reboot

Posted at 5:04 PM, May 09, 2018

CHICAGO – “Roseanne,” the sitcom about a working class family from small-town America returned to ABC after a 20-year hiatus to huge audiences. "Will & Grace" also came back to 'Must See TV' on NBC to huge ratings.

Both of these shows picked up where they left off, and their successes are kicking off a trend of old shows coming back, complete with updated stories and original casts.

According to TV By The Numbers, "Roseanne" debuted to 18 million people, and is still averaging around 15 million viewers per episode, and it is the highest watched sitcom this season. "Will & Grace" is NBC’s top rated comedy, and the second highest watched scripted show behind “This is Us."

Both shows are already renewed for a second season, and "Will & Grace" is already renewed for a third.

The popularity of the new seasons of "Roseanne" and "Will & Grace" are a throwback to broadcast television's heyday of appointment viewing. "It [Roseanne] was a really, really popular show the first time around, it was in the top 5 for six straight seasons in its first run," says Rick Porter, editor of TV by the Numbers, "People like seeing these characters again."

A reboot is like a high-school reunion for viewers – there’s a curiosity factor to see how people have changed, how they’re doing and what they look like now, and there are a few more notable reboots coming to tv and screens everywhere.

"Murphy Brown" will return to CBS next season after signing off in 1998. Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt both signed contracts to pick up where “Mad About You” left off, so audiences can expect that sometime in 2019.

With all of these classics coming back with original casts and updated storylines, what would you like to see return?