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In killing off the character Roseanne Conner, ABC on Tuesday night may well have ensured the longevity of the rest of the fictional family.

According to Nielsen preliminary broadcast nationals, the premiere of the "Roseanne" spinoff "The Conners" averaged 10.5 million viewers and a 2.3 rating, which translates to nearly 3 million adults 18-49. And while the TV turnout for the "'Roseanne' Minus Roseanne" opener didn't come anywhere near the 18.4 million viewers/5.2 demo served up by the March 27 reboot debut, Tuesday night's sampling was the highest for a new fall series.

(Procedural note: As much as the early nationals data may be adjusted upwards to reflect this afternoon's live-plus-same-day ratings, statistically there is almost no discernable difference between the numbers cited above and what advertisers might expect to see when the C3 currency data is processed next month. In other words, all the time-shifting in the world won't impact the transactional returns, largely because very few people bother watching the commercials when they are in playback mode.)

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