The premiere of the US remake of Rake hasn't galvanised audiences, despite a generally positive reception from US critics.
Aired on the Fox network on Thursday night US time, the show starring Greg Kinnear as a self-destructive defence lawyer drew 7.1 million viewers.
That was below expectations, delivering Fox’s lowest non-Friday premiere rating for a new series — comedy or drama —since Mob Doctor in 2012, according to Deadline.com.
In the key 18-49 age group, the show posted a rating of 1.7, which The Hollywood Reporter described as a modest result.
The legal comedy-drama was scheduled after American Idol, which had an average of 12.1 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in 18-49.
Rake was beaten by repeats of The Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men on CBS but Fox was the top-rating network on the night, due mostly to American Idol.
Among the critics there was near universal praise for Kinnear’s performance. The Los Angeles Times predicted the series will be this year's mid-season breakout, observing, “Not since The Rockford Files has a character so delightfully swung between self-defeating defects and accidental heroism.
"Rake may be the story of yet another anti-hero, but it's difficult to remember one this likable.”
Peter Duncan, who co-created the Australian Rake, created the US series which is produced by Essential Media & Entertainment and Fedora Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The show will screen in Australia on the Universal Channel.