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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 1, 1996
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
3rd Rock from the Sun Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Starring: Kristen Johnston, John Lithgow, French Stewart
  • Summary: "As many intelligent people know, aliens are all around us. This is a story of a band of four such explorers. In order to blend in, they have assumed human form. This is the High Commander [Dick]. He has assembled an elite team of experts: A decorated military officer [Sally], a seasoned intelligence specialist [Tommy] and [Harry], well, they had an extra seat."3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN is an inspired half-hour comedy series farcically dealing with the human condition set in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio. This gentle-hearted series stars John Lithgow as the High Commander of an investigative team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their so-called advanced civilization. Described by its producers as "Carl Sagan meets the Marx Brothers," 3RD ROCK has a clever, distinct point of view seen through the extraterrestrial team who has no other worldly powers except absolute truthfulness. Dick (John Lithgow, Don Quixote), Harry (French Stewart, Love Stinks), Sally (Kristen Johnston, Austin Powers) And Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 10 thing I Hate About You), arrive in our world completely innocent, while equipped with superior intelligence to analyze every experience. This bizarre vantage point of an innocent seeing everything for the first time is the comic framework from which to satire the human condition and American society, to look at all of the injustices and absurdities and humorously point them out to us. 3RD ROCK cuts through our taboos and traditions with a childlike inquisitive logic and an impeccably paced humorous twist. We the viewers see ourselves in 3RD ROCK, and we see ourselves as the aliens.The humor of 3RD ROCK is always twisting the viewpoint to show the angle of an outsider looking in. 3RD ROCK which we know as Earth is the way travellers would look at the world - an insignificant blue speck that is The 3rd Rock from the Sun.Reruns were last seen on ABC Family on April 15, 2005 at 9:00am ET with the episode "The Big Giant Head Returns Again, Part 1" and may return at some other time. Check listings.Ratings:
    #22 in the 1995-1996 Season
    #27 in the 1996-1997 Season
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 26, 2013
    The show needs work-—why all the breast jokes?-—but [Lithgow and Curtin] don't.
  2. Moliere it's not, but somehow it works as a sort of energized hybrid of "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Mork & Mindy" and those "Coneheads" sketches Curtin spent so much time in while she was with SNL. [7 Jan 1996]
  3. Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    Jun 19, 2013
    No one will mistake this for cutting-edge comedy but it is well-cast (especially Lithgow) and good-natured enough to please most viewers. [8 Jan 1996]
  4. Reviewed by: Miles Beller
    Jun 19, 2013
    Though Rock can feel heavy and static, jammed with too many dumb jokes about body parts, it is capable of showing a quirky bounce now and again, which is a quality one hopes will be developed as the series establishes itself. [8 Jan 1996]
  5. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jul 2, 2013
    Third Rock's creators, veteran Saturday Night Live writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, have described the show as "Carl Sagan meets the Marx Brothers." In reality, it's Maude meets Mork & Mindy.
  6. Reviewed by: Frederic M. Biddle
    Jun 19, 2013
    The results are derivative, but they could have been worse. [9 Jan 1996]
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    Jun 19, 2013
    It's hard to figure where the makers of "Third Rock" believe they went right. The humor never rises above high-school-lunchroom level, and even then it's not over-the-top enough to make it very appealing. The actors are talented enough -- Lithgow and Curtin certainly have nothing left to prove, and Gordon-Levitt seems to be that rarest of finds, a young actor who knows about timing. What they're doing in this mess is one of those questions for the ages. [9 Jan 1996]

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 23, 2012
    A classic 90's sitcom that is indisputably out of this world. '3rd Rock from the Sun' is quite funny which is everything you ever desire from a television comedy and the first season does not disappoint for the most part. The storylines are fun and lighthearted and each of the regular and recurring characters are introduced at a style and pace which doesn't saturate the home viewers. The gags themselves aren't for everybody though; some viewers might even be put off by the basic jokes which aren't exactly new but are still comical. Expand