"Kid Nation" Debuts With Good, Not Great, Ratings And Reviews

The controversial reality show Kid Nation debuted with unexceptional ratings Wednesday night, drawing a second-place 6.4 rating and an 11 share. It was beaten out by the season premiere of Fox's Back To You, which posted a 6.8/11. Reviews of Kid Nation appeared to be as lukewarm as the ratings. Robert Lloyd in the Los Angeles Times, while questioning the premise of the show, concludes: "Whatever else it is, or may be, it is adorable; to the extent that it's disturbing onscreen, it'll be an 8 p.m. on CBS kind of disturbing." Said Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times: "Kid Nation is at its core a well-packaged MTV-style group-dynamics show, but with Disney-age participants: 'It's a Real World After All.'" Robert Philpot in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, commented: "It turns out to be a noisy, frenetic series -- but one that has more than a few touching and humorous moments." Lynn Elber in the Associated Press remarked that it amounts to a modern-day version of the old Kids Say the Darndest Things "with reality-show trappings galore to make it exciting for today's presumably jaded young set and, CBS hopes, their parents." But Tom Shales in the Washington Post observes that the new offering is "a long way from the relative innocence of those early days" and is in fact "an appalling monstrosity."

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