Despite critics' best efforts to kill of one of TV's worst new comedies of the season, they may have accomplished the exact opposite: "Dads" had a pretty good start last night with about 5.6 million viewers, easily outdistancing "Raising Hope" which aired in the same time period last season.
Fox itself called the debut "strong," and there was little to indicate that was hyperbole with a 2.1 rating among adults ages 18 to 49, which Fox said would grow by just under a rating point when the seven-day ratings were factored in.
Meanwhile, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" did well too -- 6 million viewers -- as did "New Girl" (5.6 million.) Among young adults, both scored a 2.5 and 2.9 respectively. Also good.
"The Mindy Project" had a weak start -- down 21 percent from last year's launch figure, to a 1.9 in the age 18 to 59 rating category. Fox had launched the season opener online, so that may have had an impact.
What does any of this mean? Who knows. Viewers may have simply wanted to check out "Dads" when they encountered the collective howl of most critics. (I gave it a C+ and think next week's episode is an improvement over last night's, while observing the obvious -- that show runners and creators Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green are serial offenders. Plus, there were a few funny lines here and there. It wasn't THAT horrific, in other words.