Prime-time soap "Dallas" roared back onto US television screens this week with 6.86 million viewers watching the season premiere despite mixed reviews for the reboot, the TNT cable channel said.
In a statement, TNT said its revival of the classic 1980s saga about ruthless Texas oil baron J.R. Ewing and his family pulled more viewers than any other scripted series premiere on cable so far this year.
What's more, it added, Wednesday's two-hour premiere also "outperformed" all broadcast network programs in the 9-to-11 pm slot. The ratings do not include viewings on catch-up Internet outlets such as Hulu.
Larry Hagman and Linda Gray reprise their role as J.R. and troubled wife Sue Ellen, but the storyline now is more focused on a younger generation of Ewings played by Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe and Jordana Brewster.
Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker branded Wednesday's premiere "a rare example of an artistically -- well, entertainingly, at least -- successful TV classic update."
"I still can't get used to the ads (promoting the series) that urge me to 'follow the Ewings on Twitter!,' Tucker added.
"But I enjoyed the show's genially hokey set-up of having a doddering J.R. in an assisted living center, ready to toss aside his walker and get back in the game."
Maureen Ryan of the Huffington Post said: "This is a show that is pretty firmly fixed on what it does best -- serving up soapy, Texas-sized shenanigans and trying to mix in a little seasoning of real emotion along the way."
Less impressed was Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter, who dismissed the revival as "terrible (and) a remake that should never have been remade."
"The writing is brutal and obvious, the acting is comical, and none of it is bettered by the directing... All you need to know is that The Next Generation Dallas Kin are as predictably nasty as the first."
In Texas itself, Fort Worth Star-Telegram critic Robert Philpot reported: "If you never watched the original Dallas, don't worry. It doesn't take long to get up to speed."
Rick Porter, blogging on showbiz website zap2it.com, recalled how, in its heyday, when multichannel cable was a novelty and the Internet unknown, "Dallas" was among the most watched shows on broadcast television.
It famously pulled a staggering 80 million viewers for its "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger episode in 1980.
TNT has lined up a total of 10 episodes of "Dallas" to run through August 15 in the United States. It is scheduled to run on European channels later this year or next year, depending on the country.