Kiefer Sutherland

Brian Bowen Smith/FOX

It had American Idol for a lead-in. It had Kiefer Sutherland, in his first series, post-24, for a star. It even had Modern Family more or less on the sidelines.

Touch couldn't miss in the TV ratings.

Er, right?


The sci-fi-y think piece got off to a fast start Wednesday, estimates show, with 12 million viewers (on par with 24's final season-opener) and a super 3.9 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Criminal Minds drew a bigger overall audience in the 9 p.m. time slot, and Marg Helgenberger's CSI farewell drew even more eyeballs at 10 p.m., but Touch won its hour among the demographically desirable.

Lucky for all the 9 p.m. occupants, Modern Family was a rerun.

On the night, Touch was the top-rated scripted series in the demo, and, per Fox, the season's second-highest drama premiere, after ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Reviews were mixed, ranging from tempered raves ("one of the best pilots of the 2011-12 season to date") to tempered pans ("rushes in where Touched By an Angel might have feared to tread"). Metacritic put Touch's concensus critical score at 64 out of 100, So, basically, it survived.

With its first tests out of the way, the question now is how will Touch hold up without American Idol (and its base of 20 million or so viewers).

The answer will come in March, when Touch is scheduled to take over the 9 p.m. slot on Monday, an Idol-free night. 

Good thing Sutherland's handy with the survival skills.

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