Unan1mous does better post-Idol than any show since The Swan

FOX’s premiere of Unan1mous was watched by 16.04 million viewers. While the show lost about 11 million viewers from its lead-in, American Idol 5, which was watched by 27.68 million people, Variety reports that the show “held onto more of its 18-49 lead-in from ‘American Idol’ … than any premiering post-‘Idol’ skein since ‘The Swan’ two years ago.”

Despite the negative reviews, I really enjoyed the premiere. It was like an anorexic Big Brother, fast and quick and full of consequential twists. In the first episode alone, the game was upended at least twice, and it more is apparently to come. The game itself is brilliantly simple and the set is slick, with just the perfect amount of cheese (like the “voting spheres” that travel down long tubes right to the host).

The cast is a bit too abrasive, but the show also basically doesn’t spend any real time getting to know them, instead just focusing on their conflicts. Again, it’s like CBS’s locked-in-a-house show, just with absolutely no filler. I just wish that executive producer JD Roth hadn’t made himself the host. To go with the industrial, futuristic feel of the set, producers should have gone with someone else, like Soledad O’Brien’s former “The Site” co-host and CGI character Dev Null.

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