'Astronaut Wives Club' premiere touches down with so-so ratings

'Astronaut Wives Club' premiere touches down with so-so ratings
Zoe Boyle, Erin Cummings, Odette Annable, Yvonne Strahovski, Azure Parsons and Joanna Garcia Swisher star in "The Astronaut Wives Club." (TNS)

"The Astronaut Wives Club" had a little trouble with blastoff Thursday night.

ABC's new period drama - billed as kind of a Space Age "Real Housewives" — delivered 5.5 million total viewers, with a lackluster 1.1 rating in the crucial 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen.

That was good enough for just third place, behind NBC's "Dateline" (6.2 million) and CBS' block of sitcom repeats (6.1 million).

However, "AWC" kicked off the night at 8 p.m., without the benefit of a lead-in that could help draw viewers. And viewing levels are lower earlier in the evening, especially during summer.

"Astronaut Wives Club" originally was planned for the 2013-14 TV season but kept getting pushed back for creative tinkering and other issues.

Overall, it has been a drab summer for dramas. "Astronaut Wives Club" roughly equaled the ratings for two heavily promoted entries that endured mediocre early performance, NBC's '60s murder mystery "Aquarius" and Fox's thriller "Wayward Pines."

But dramas these days are increasingly long-term plays for the networks, as people often view them on DVRs and on-demand platforms. Thus it can take months for the true picture of a show's appeal to emerge.

What did you think of "Astronaut Wives Club"?

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT