When ABC canceled the hugely popular reboot of "Roseanne" in May following a racist Twitter rant by Roseanne Barr, it appeared to be a major blow to the alphabet network. But the spin-off "The Conners" has managed to be a valuable replacement for the alphabet network, as one of the most expensive broadcast prime time shows for advertisers in the 2018-2019 season.
ABC had made "Roseanne" a centerpiece of its pitch to advertisers during its upfront presentation. The reboot, a mid-year replacement last season, averaged 13.5 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among 18- to 49-year-olds and the premiere marked the largest audience for a sitcom since September 2014. If "Roseanne" were to have seen a second season, some buyers expected they would have to pay at least $100,000 more for 30-seconds of commercial time than they paid last season.
And while the cost for "The Conners," which focuses on the rest of the Conner family in the aftermath of Roseanne's death, doesn't exactly hit that mark, it sure did come close.
A 30-second commercial in the series, which premieres later this month, cost advertisers $201,065 on average, according to Ad Age's annual survey of media buyers. This is 21 percent more than the $166,573 advertisers paid on average for a commercial in "Roseanne" last season.
It also puts "The Conners" at No. 9 on Ad Age's list of the costliest shows for advertisers, right behind ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and ahead of the Tuesday night episode of NBC's "The Voice."
Media buyers expect "The Conners" to be the biggest new hit of the season, according to ratings projections from ad buyers. This is largely because of the high tune-in expected for the premiere to see how Roseanne will be killed off.
Contributing: Anthony Crupi