How ABC Has Used Social Video to Help Build Buzz Around Its Megahit ‘Roseanne’ Reboot

B&C has teamed up with social video analytics company Tubular Labs for a recurring look at how various content creators are deploying video to reach audiences online. In this edition, a look at the return of ABC’s Roseanne and how the network is using social video to help build and sustain the buzz around the TV ratings smash.

Roseanne is not only a hit on television, it’s a hit on Facebook and YouTube. Although there are a number of grass-roots fan pages and channels focused on the show (both its current and past incarnations), and series star Roseanne Barr maintains a Facebook-verified page called RoseanneWorld Fan Page, they pale in comparison to ABC’s reach as a network. The RoseanneWorld Fan Page, for instance, has just 33,713 followers.

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But with its network page on Facebook and official YouTube channel, ABC can not only mobilize its millions of fans and followers, it can leverage Roseanne coverage across its other programming. “Synergy” is an overused word in modern media, but it definitely applies here.

We took a close look at the performance of Roseanne-related videos on ABC’s Facebook and YouTube channels over the past 90 days to analyze the hype before and after the sitcom’s return to TV. Only two of the top 10 were actually specifically produced by/for Roseanne itself; the rest were segments about the show that aired on other ABC shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and 20/20.

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The top 10 Roseanne-related videos posted by ABC and tracked by Tubular over the past 90 days had post dates ranging from Feb. 8 to March 29 — and the No. 1 video, titled “Roseanne Barr on Supporting Donald Trump,” started as an interview on Kimmel. Barr was, of course, on the show to promote the Roseanne reboot, but her conversation about her political inclinations gave the segment major online buzz, resulting in more than 3 million YouTube views to date.


The No. 2 and No. 3 videos over the 90 days measured were also triumphs of network synergy. A Feb. 8 clip promoting a 20/20 special titled “Roseanne: The Return” racked up 1.5 million views on Facebook, followed by a second promo for that same 20/20 special (posted Feb. 15) with 1.1 million views, also on Facebook.

Closing out the top 10: A clip, posted to YouTube, from yet another ABC show’s focus on Roseanne’s return — this one a segment on The View titled “'Roseanne' Revival Scores Record Ratings” that celebrated the sitcom’s massive viewership: