The hottest new show in the ratings game lately has been the Roseanne revival on ABC. The revival was breaking records and blowing cast members' minds after only the very first week, and the subsequent numbers haven't been too shabby either. Now, the numbers are in for the past week's episode, and it turns out that Roseanne managed to beat The Walking Dead's Season 8 finale in the ratings, which is a seriously big deal for ABC.
During the week of April 9, Roseanne earned itself the top spot on the list of TV shows, both in overall viewership and in the coveted 18-49 age demographic. While that is a notable accomplishment at any time and against any show, ABC has particular bragging rights for that week. The Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead also aired in the week of April 9, and the former ratings juggernaut scored lower numbers than Roseanne. Overall, Roseanne was the #1 show of the whole week. Who would have guessed that the zombie apocalypse would be toppled by a sitcom revival?
In case you're looking for more specifics, you'll find that it wasn't even close between Roseanne and The Walking Dead during the April 9 week. In Live+Same day calculations, Roseanne was viewed by 13.77 million people and won an impressive 3.5 in the key 18-49 demographic. According to TV By The Numbers, The Walking Dead was viewed by only 9.81 million people and won a 3.4 rating in the 18-49 demo. The discrepancy in viewership is vast, numbering in the millions, and is a big win for ABC. The demographic difference only goes down to 0.1 in 18-49, but given The Walking Dead's long history of incredible ratings and the audience built-in after eight seasons, that 0.1 must have been cause for celebration at ABC.
That said, AMC and The Walking Dead shouldn't despair just yet. Even though the ratings and viewership for the Season 8 premiere were markedly lower than the ratings and viewership for the Season 7 premiere, it's possible that the finale will get a ratings boost once delayed viewership can be taken into account. One Walking Dead executive producer has even said that increased competition and a drop in live viewership means that lower ratings aren't cause for panic. Still, the Season 8 finale ratings were even lower than the already-disappointing ratings for the Season 8 premiere, and that doesn't bode well for the zombie apocalypse.
Of course, viewers don't have to worry about Roseanne or The Walking Dead ending any time soon. Roseanne was renewed for Season 2 shortly after its revival premiere, and I wouldn't be surprised if AMC keeps The Walking Dead running until the real zombie apocalypse goes down. The zombie apocalypse series was renewed for Season 9 a while ago with one big change.