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With stellar ratings for her revived iconic sitcom, Roseanne Barr’s week got even better as President Donald Trump telephoned her personally to offer his congratulations on Wednesday.
The New York Times first reported that Trump called Barr and they spoke about the “huge” ratings the first episode of the revived Roseanne picked up on Tuesday. The ABC comedy averaged a massive 18.1 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in the key demo.
On Thursday, the comedian called into Good Morning America to say she was grateful for the viewers, including the president. “It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you that much,” she said of the private conversation with Trump. “They said, ‘Hold please for the president of the United States of America’ and that was about the most exciting thing, ever. It was just very sweet of him to congratulate us.”
Adding, “I’ve known him for many years and he’s done a lot of nice things for me over the years. It was just a friendly conversation about work, and television and ratings. He really understands ratings and how they measure things and that’s kind of been an interest of mine, too, for a long time.”
In total viewers, Roseanne‘s second coming made it the highest-rated sitcom broadcast in more than three years. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said Roseanne’s early success was “a win for all of broadcast.”
The president, a former reality TV star who famously pays close attention to ratings, took the time to thank Barr for her continued support in public as well as the decision to make her character in the sitcom a fervent Trump supporter, people familiar with the call told the Times.
“I think the idea that people can agree to disagree is kind of missing from everything,” Barr said on Thursday about why she thinks the reboot has struck such a chord with American viewers. “Conflict resolution and agreeing to disagree are important thinks that I like to talk about, and I haven’t seen much of that anywhere. That’s what we need to do as a country: figure out what we don’t like, talk to each other and discuss how we’re going to get it changed or fixed.”
Barr, who has already said she hopes to bring the reboot back for more seasons, says she hopes the show and its success inspires civil conversation, instead of “mudslinging.”
As THR reported, the double-episode premiere over-performed in Middle America. According to Nielsen Media’s metered-market ratings, which show tune-in by households in 56 of the biggest metropolitan areas, Roseanne scored the highest in Tulsa, Oklahoma — the country’s No. 62 market with just over 500,000 TV-watching households.
A sitcom based on the working-class Conner family, Roseanne has been conspicuously updated for the culture wars and left-right divide found in 2018 America, with the titular star now a vocal and passionate Trump supporter and her sister Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, a fervent advocate for Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump Jr. also praised the show on Twitter on Wednesday, suggesting she also consider a run on late-night TV since it “seems there’s some demand for an alternate viewpoint.”
March 29, 6:15 a.m. Updated with Barr’s GMA appearance.
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