Critics Pan 'Cavemen,' But Viewers Watched

TV critics can be as rough as cavemen, and this season they extended that coarseness to ABC's "Cavemen."

Yet ABC has defied many negative reviews, and so far has won the first battle with the show. Counting on the outstanding awareness levels--coming from the similar-themed Geico insurance TV commercials --the debut episode on Tuesday night scored a solid, but not spectacular, Nielsen preliminary 3.3 adults 18-49 rating, a live-plus-same-day program rating. That tied CBS' "NCIS" for the lead in the 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. time period.

But the true test for this unusual-looking show is whether those curious viewers will stick around in the weeks to come.

Critics have also been tough on ABC's other new half-hour comedy, "Carpoolers." Still, the debut episode grabbed a strong 3.4 rating.

Among the other notable rookie shows, CBS' "Cane" had another rough outing--dipping 14% to a 2.5 number from a week ago, at 10 p.m. "Reaper," the critically acclaimed new dramedy from CW, moved south by 11% to a 1.6 rating among 18-34 viewers from its 1.8 premiere a week ago. Still, it built on its "Beauty and the Geek" lead-in. Tuesday's established network shows continued to prosper, continuing their winning ways.



Fox's "House" offered another muscular 7.1 rating, winning the 9 p.m. time period; NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" scored another top number with a 4.5 rating, winning the 10 p.m. time period; and ABC's "Dancing with the Stars: Results Show" pulled in a steady 4.3 rating, a distant second to "House" in the time period.

For the night, Fox finished first among viewers 18-49 with a "House"-powered 5.0/13. ABC was way back at 3.6/9. NBC was just behind, with a 3.5/9. CBS was at the bottom of the big four with a 3.1/8. Univision and CW tied for fifth, at 1.3/3.

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