The New Adventures of Old Christine, starring Seinfeld alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premiered on CBS last night with strong enough ratings to place second in its time slot. This is welcome news for a former cast member of Seinfed, who have all been in several high-profile flops since that show ended in 1998.
Christine premiered with two episodes last night, and both of them improved on ratings of the shows they were preempting.
The 8:30 p.m. episode went up against game show Deal or No Deal on NBC and came in second in the time slot, with a 3.9 rating among viewers 18-49. This is slightly better than vacationing time-slot resident How I Met Your Mother was averaging for the season.
At 9:30, another episode of Christine came in second to Fox's 24, snagging a 4.9 rating in 18-49s, better than what former time-slot tenant Courting Alex has averaged this season.
Christine received mostly positive reviews, with Village Voice critic Joy Press saying that the show "may or may not be a mid-season hit, but it should be" and Variety's Brian Lowry saying that it's "one of the best conventional half-hours to come along in a while."
Seinfeld is one of the most fondly remembered sitcoms in TV history, but the four actors who helped make it great have all suffered post-Seinfeld sour times.
Dreyfus, who played Elaine Benes on the show, followed up in 2002 with Watching Ellie, a short-lived sitcom that took place in "real time." She also appeared as a recurring character on Fox's cult sitcom Arrested Development.
Jason Alexander, aka George Costanza, went on to appear in two quickly canceled series. In Bob Patterson, he played a motivational speaker--the show lasted less than a season. In Listen Up!, he was a radio DJ--that series lasted the entire season but wasn't renewed.
Michael Richards, who played wacky neighbor Cosmo Kramer, played a bumbling detective on 2000's The Michael Richards Show. The series lasted eight episodes.
Jerry Seinfeld hasn't done much since the show ended, making one film, the stand-up comedy documentary Comedian. Series cocreator Larry David went on to create the popular "Seinfeld in LA" series, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The next few weeks will prove if Loius-Dreyfus is the first of the bunch to have a truly successful network TV series after the folding of the Seinfeld tent.