Question: I'm really enjoying Aliens in America, and I worry that people are missing the boat on this surprisingly funny half-hour of television. The second episode was one of the highlights of the week! The ratings are abysmal, and so few people are talking about this show that I'm worried it'll be pulled before others have the opportunity to give it a chance. What do you think about Aliens in America — does it have a fighting chance? Does the fact that it's on the CW work against it? Would its ratings be higher if it had been picked up by NBC or CBS?
Answer: If Aliens were airing anywhere but the CW (except perhaps on cable), its ratings probably would be higher, but given the sorry state of the CW's overall ratings this season, it's probably just as well that a show this offbeat is airing on a network that's likely to let it ride. Despite the low ratings, Aliens in America has had generally good media buzz, which should help keep it around. I like the show, and I especially like the character of Raja, the unfailingly polite Pakistani Muslim exchange student who earnestly tries to accentuate the positive in his American experience despite the comically exaggerated prejudice that keeps confronting him in his Midwest town and school. Aliens tries to be both smart in its satire and broad in its high-school humor (with jokes about porn, among other adolescent sexual obsessions), and the balance doesn't always work, although Amy Pietz is a riot as Raja's frantic housemother. It definitely deserves attention, and an audience, but even the name of Chris Rock hasn't done much to boost the viewership of Everybody Hates Chris these last few seasons. Give the CW some credit for sticking with it.