'Threshold' Opens To Good Reviews, So-So NumbersBy Michelle
September 18, 2005 - 2:06 AM
Threshold, the new CBS show co-executive produced by Brannon Braga and co-starring Brent Spiner, received only mediocre ratings for its premiere.
The new series earned a 5.3 rating/9 share in the fast national ratings for CBS, according to Zap2It. This means that approximately 5.3% of American households with television sets were tuned to CBS during the 9 p.m. hour, representing 9% of households watching television at that time. The second hour of NBC's Dateline took the top spot, although Threshold finished ahead of UPN's Smackdown! with a 3.2/6, the WB's season premieres of Reba and Living with Fran with an average 2.2/4, ABC's Hope & Faith and Less Than Perfect which tied the WB numbers and FOX in last place with a rerun of the Reunion premiere.
NBC averaged a 6.0 rating/11 share in primetime for the night, beating the 5.2/9 for CBS, although the Eye network was top-rated among adults 18-49. Dateline's ratings also went up from the 8 p.m. hour to the 9 p.m. hour, starting out with a 5.3/10 and improving to a 6.9/12 against Threshold, which improved in its second hour to a 5.6/10.
Reviews had largely been positive, with DailyPress.com calling Threshold "frighteningly good." Called the best of the Lost parallels, Threshold is praised for its "gasp-out-loud scary" story. Newsday called the new series "not for the young or squeamish", noting, "It's no surprise to learn the sci-fi suspenser 'Threshold' is being produced by 'Star Trek' spin-offs veteran Brannon Braga." The paper did not believe that Spiner's role was in the new series' best interest, however, saying, "Casting Brent Spiner in a quirky role does not a youthful stew make. 'Trek' itself is old news now, and the notion CBS doesn't know that does not bode well for a concept that might otherwise be enlivened into something worth watching again."
Space.com said that the ensemble cast's quirks feel forced at times, stating that Threshold's "creepiest, and most successful, moments come in quick flashes, offering quick glimpses into what the show's alien antagonists may or may not have in store for humans." The Palm Beach Post agreed, declaring that the "eerie pilot delivers the goods....with its top-shelf production values, spooky overtones, sly humor and first-rate cast, Threshold plays like a summer popcorn thriller."