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'The Conners' premiere is a local hit, but how many viewers will return?

This is another edition of What Western New York is watching:

Love it or hate it, many Western New Yorkers and the nation watched Tuesday’s premiere of “The Conners.”

The episode that revealed that Roseanne Barr’s character Roseanne Conner died of an opiate overdose had a 10.1 live rating locally on WKBW-TV (Channel 7).

That’s an unusually high live rating for any new program this season.

ABC has started promoting “The Conners” as the No. 1 new show of the season.

The celebration of the “Roseanne” spinoff featuring all of the other cast members may be premature. The biggest test will come next week when Nielsen measures how many viewers return for the second episode and how many were turned off by the way Roseanne’s character was written off the show.

Roseanne is gone, but her voice remains on 'The Conners'

Still, it is rare for many programs to get double-digit live ratings in Western New York this season. However, Tuesday night had two veteran shows with higher ratings locally than “The Conners.”

The long-running CBS hit series “NCIS” had a 12.3 rating on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and the third-year NBC hit series “This Is Us” had a 10.3 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) for what was billed as an "unmissable" episode dealing with Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) tour of  Vietnam. It was a very dark and disappointing episode, considering all the buildup.

The ratings drop for the series that follow those successful Tuesday shows illustrate that the lead-in from hit series no longer are as powerful as they used to be.

The 8:30 p.m. Tuesday premiere of the new ABC series “The Kids Are Alright” had a 5.8 live rating on Channel 7. That is decent for a new series, but a big drop from the lead-in from “The Conners.”

The new 9 p.m. Tuesday CBS drama “FBI” almost lost half the lead-in from “NCIS” and had a 6.7 live rating on Channel 4.

The new 10 p.m. Tuesday NBC medical drama “New Amsterdam” lost more than half of its lead-in from “This Is Us” but still won its time period with a 4.7 live rating on Channel 2.

The premiere of the heavily promoted 10 p.m. Tuesday ABC series “The Rookie” had a live 4.4 rating on Channel 7. The 10 p.m. Tuesday CBS drama “NCIS: New Orleans” had a 4.0 rating on Channel 4.

However, all three 10 p.m. series were competing with the first period of the Buffalo Sabres’ 4-1 loss to Las Vegas on MSG, which had a 5 rating in that hour.

All those 10 p.m. Tuesday series, as well as many others airing on Tuesday, should get a boost from delayed viewing via On Demand, DVRs or network websites.


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