• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 1, 1996
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 26, 2013
    75
    The show needs work-—why all the breast jokes?-—but [Lithgow and Curtin] don't.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    '3rd Rock from the Sun,' besides being viewed as too darn silly by some, may be slagged for being too raunchy by others. But if you're looking for a daffy acting delight, check out John Lithgow's marvelously unhinged performance as Commander Dick. [9 Jan 1996]
  3. Reviewed by: Lon Grahnke
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    Goofy and good-hearted, '3rd Rock' winks at the human condition. [8 Jan 1996]
  4. Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    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]
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    'Rock' is loud, raucous, silly, sentimental and, just often enough to keep you watching, flat-out funny. It's not a great show, but it's different and it dares to aim for wild laughter instead of mild amusement. [9 Jan 1996]
  6. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    Relax and go with the goofiness and you could have a good time. [9 Jan 1996]
  7. 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]
  8. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jun 19, 2013
    63
    At best, and most, 3rd Rock might catch on as the silliest of guilty pleasures, a Benny Hill burlesque where the leering material is enlivened by some outstanding physical comedy. ... When goofy, 3rd Rock rolls. When dirty, it's stone-cold bad. [9 Jan 1996]
  9. Reviewed by: Mike McDaniel
    Jun 19, 2013
    63
    Well, the show is certainly wacky, but I didn't get a good laugh until the third episode I previewed. [9 Jan 1996]
  10. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Laughs rarely equal the sum of the gimmickry in "3rd Rock." ... Yet the first three episodes do have their amusing moments. [9 Jan 1996]
  11. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Erratic but promising ... So far the series lacks the sharp writing to match its actors' unflappable delivery and deft physical comedy. [9 Jan 1996]
  12. Reviewed by: Tom Feran
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Once it gets past a fixation on breast jokes (I counted nine in the premiere but only five in next week's episode) its talented cast and clever writing could make it a diverting, screwball sitcom. [9 Jan 1996]
  13. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Barely a minute goes by in this new NBC sitcom ... without another gratuitous breast reference, as though the word itself is a riot. It's too bad, because if you can get past the sense that somebody wrote much of this with a Victoria's Secret catalog close at hand, there's actually a charming and perceptive comedy lurking inside, a neat counterpoint to all those series about urbanites on the make. [9 Jan 1996]
  14. Reviewed by: Miles Beller
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    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]
  15. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    The level of the writing ranges from juvenile... to fairly clever, but the performers are what really enliven '3rd Rock.' ... The cast is just right. The concept, though nothing new, fits just fine. I'd love to recommend this show unreservedly but until its scripts improve a notch, it's more like an extended sketch. [7 Jan 1996]
  16. Reviewed by: Todd Everett
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    [The] cast generally rises above the material, with Lithgow a sort of cross between Steve Martin and Matt Frewer, and tall, raspy-voiced Johnston a real find. Curtin is fine, but somewhat wasted as an uptight professor. [9 Jan 1996]
  17. Reviewed by: Ginia Bellafante
    Jul 2, 2013
    40
    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.
  18. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    I counted 14 breast and genital jokes in the three episodes of 3d Rock From the Sun sent out to critics. Some of them (the jokes, that is) seemingly went on for hours. Most would make even a mature 13-year-old cringe. [9 Jan 1996]
  19. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    It's a pity the writers and producers suffer so badly from groin lock, because the show has promise, mainly in the person of John Lithgow. [9 Jan 1996]
  20. Reviewed by: Frederic M. Biddle
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    The results are derivative, but they could have been worse. [9 Jan 1996]
  21. Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    While not the most stupid thing on the air, it borders on stupidity. [8 Jan 1996]
  22. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Jun 19, 2013
    30
    'Rock' is little more than one big sophomoric sex joke. ... All of this is doubly disappointing because it's such a waste of talent. [9 Jan 1996]
  23. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Jun 19, 2013
    30
    The show ought to be more than a sophomoric aliens-meet-humans smutcom. It should be an advancement on My Favorite Martian and Mork & Mindy. But it's not. [9 Jan 1996]
  24. 25
    The humor of "3rd Rock" is of I-can't-believe-how-bad-this-is quality. [9 Jan 1996]
  25. 25
    How sad to see John Lithgow making insipid jokes on 3rd Rock From The Sun.
  26. Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    Jun 19, 2013
    20
    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]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 23, 2012
    7
    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. Full Review »