‘666 Park Avenue’ Premieres With Soft Ratings, But Critics See Potential

666 Park Avenue, ABC’s new series about a couple living in a potentially demon-possessed Manhattan apartment building, premiered last night on September 30, 2012. So how did it do?

Ratings were lackluster, and critics tried to see the show’s potential through its tedious plot.

Though it’s being touted as TV’s next guilty pleasure, 666 Park Avenue apparently wasn’t sinful enough for some viewers. It garnered a 5.3 rating in the metered markets, and, though many shows that rise to success have often started out in a worse place, the opposite can also prove true. For instance, last year’s Pan Am started at 8.5 and lasted only 14 episodes.

Even worse, notes Headline Planet, 666 Park Avenue dropped from a 5.7 in its first half hour to a 4.9 in the latter half, meaning that people got bored with the pilot partway through. Sure, they might come back next week and give the show a second chance, but, for the pilot episode, the one that’s supposed to sell the concept of the series, that’s not a very good start.

Reviews? While EW gave several reasons why 666 Park Avenue “deserve[s] that pickup to series” it also opined that the show follows several horror cliches that it would be better off avoiding. “I think it’s more eerie when we see the craziness and Jane and Henry don’t. Jane having weird ‘dreams’ and not realizing how dirty her feet are in the shower will grow tedious,” they write.

NY Daily found that, while the show is stylish and visually interesting, the “challenge for 666 may lie in getting viewers to stick around for the couple of episodes it will probably take to grasp the picture.”

In short? 666 Park Avenue is no American Horror Story, but, like the FX show, it may play host to a modestly-sized and deeply devoted cult following. The show may be off to a rocky start, but I think that some of it might have to do with the marketing. For a show about success and the supernatural, why did so many of the promos look more like Dirty Sexy Money than The Devil’s Advocate?

Did you watch 666 Park Avenue? What did you think?