Although the “Roseanne” reboot on ABC did not sail through the season without controversy, the network was able to dodge past most of the fire. It wrapped up the season with average ad unit costs 50% higher than its premiere, and took the spotlight at the freshly concluded TV upfronts. There was much for both advertisers and viewers to look forward to in the next season of the show… until it was canceled by ABC amid controversy around the show’s star, Roseanne Barr.

The SQAD Data Team pulled numbers from our MediaCosts: National data to show trends related to advertiser engagement.


Cost Trends for “Roseanne” Reboot


 Episode Date Low High
Episode 1/2 3/27/2018 $153,129 $183,863
Episode 3 4/3/2018 $129,383 $155,351
Episode 4 4/10/2018 $98,120 $117,814
Episode 5 4/17/2018 $166,274 $199,646
Episode 6 5/1/2018 $266,515 $320,005
Episode 7 5/8/2018 $160,533 $192,753
Episode 8 5/15/2018 $182,578 $219,222
Episode 9 5/22/2018 $230,051 $276,223


Cost Analysis

  • Ad costs for the show’s premiere on March 27 averaged $153,129 – $183,863.

  • From the premiere to Episode 4 (April 10), costs dipped 36% to an average of $98,120 – $117,814, after controversial remarks included in Episode 3.

  • Costs trended upwards after the dip, skyrocketing to a season high on Episode 6 (May 1). Ad costs averaged $266,515 – $320,005, 74% above the premiere average.
  • Although the show concluded on May 22 with average ad costs 14% below the peak, it wrapped up the season 50% higher than the premiere episode.

“Roseanne” vs. Other Broadcast Shows


Comparing “Roseanne” against other broadcast shows during the same time slot (8PM EST), our data reveals that its average unit costs were generally higher than those of its competition.

  • Premiere: Unit costs for “Roseanne” were 64% higher than “NCIS” on CBS and 12% higher than “The Voice” on NBC.

  • Episode 4: “Roseanne” experienced a dip in unit costs during Episode 4 (April 10), after controversial remarks made in Episode 3. During this airing, ad costs were roughly 20% lower than both “NCIS” and “The Voice.”

  • Episode 6: The show hit its peak on Episode 6 (May 1), with unit costs averaging 145% more than unit costs for “NCIS” and 83% higher than unit costs for “The Voice.”

  • Finale: The season finale episode of “Roseanne” aired on May 22, and comparing its unit costs against the other two programs on that date – the data shows it was 198% above “NCIS” and 35% above “The Voice.”