The premiere of ABC’s “The Conners” – which is the Roseanne Barr-less spinoff of “Roseanne” – lost 35 percent of viewers who tuned in to watch the return of the original series in March.
Last spring, “Roseanne” returned from a 20-year hiatus to a massive audience, with a 11.6 rating and 18.2 million viewers but Tuesday’s spinoff premiere drew a 7.5 rating, TheWrap reported, citing Nielsen’s overnight ratings.
“The spring ‘Roseanne’ run averaged an 8.6 overnight rating, which is 13 percent higher than the start for ‘The Conners,’” TheWrap ratings guru Tony Maglio wrote.
ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The fate of Barr's character was revealed on Tuesday, four months after ABC axed the reboot because she tweeted racist remarks about former President Obama's aide Valerie Jarrett.
Barr has been open about depicting her iconic TV character as a working-class Trump supporter. The original show ran from 1988 until 1997, and was rebooted in 2018 for a tenth season.
ABC canceled the show in May after Barr tweeted that Jarrett, is like the "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby." Jarrett is African-American and was born in Iran.
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss the premiere of "The Conners."]
"The Conners" started off by telling the audience the outspoken matriarch had died from overdosing on prescription opioids. The show opened with the Conners addressing the departure, and soon afterward her sister Jackie Harris takes a call about the autopsy.
"They think that she must've taken the pills right before bed, and with her health issues, it was enough to stop her breathing," Jackie tells the family members after hanging up.
"It doesn't make any sense," husband Dan chimed in. "I got her knees fixed, I flushed all her pills."
One of Roseanne's daughters, Becky, then said she found a bottle of prescription pills in Roseanne's closet — which Dan noticed weren't even prescribed to her, but rather to a Marcy Bellinger.
Later, the Conners find more pain pills stashed in the kitchen freezer — sparking daughter Darlene to ask: "Wow, so mom was just hiding pills all over?"
Bellinger then confronted Dan, claiming that Roseanne begged her for painkillers because her knee wasn't healing. Darlene reveals the pills found in the freezer, acknowledging that Rosanne "was getting pills from lots of people."
Barr announced her character's death in September, saying "they have her die of an opioid overdose." She made it clear that she was not happy with the show's decision, and said it was disrespectful to fans "who loved that family" on the original series.
After the show's premiere Tuesday night, Barr tweeted: "I AIN'T DEAD, B-----S!!!!"
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report.