3rd Rock from the Sun is an American science fiction sitcom created by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner about a group of extraterrestrial scientists who are on an expedition to Earth, which they consider to be a very insignificant planet (the "3rd Rock" from the Sun), posing as a human family in order to observe the behaviour of human beings.
The series aired in the USA on NBC from 9 January, 1996 to 22 May, 2001. There are 139 half-hour episodes in six seasons.
3rd Rock from the Sun originally aired in South Africa on M-Net from 2 July, 1996 to 7 August, 2001. It later aired on DStv's Comedy Central channel. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 3 originally aired on M-Net from 11 August, 1998 to 9 February, 1999, on Tuesdays at 18h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Season 3 premiered on Comedy Central on Tuesday 11 September 2012, at 17h30. Thereafter new episodes broadcast in a double bill daily, on weekdays at 17h00. There are 27 episodes in the third season.
3rd Rock from the Sun is a comedy series farcically dealing with the human condition set in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio.
This gentle-hearted series stars John Lithgow as the High Commander of an investigative team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their so-called advanced civilization.
Described by its producers as "Carl Sagan meets the Marx Brothers," 3rd Rock has a clever, distinct point of view seen through the extraterrestrial team who has no other worldly powers except absolute truthfulness.
Dick (John Lithgow), Harry (French Stewart), Sally (Kristen Johnston) And Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), arrive in our world completely innocent, while equipped with superior intelligence to analyze every experience.
This bizarre vantage point of an innocent seeing everything for the first time is the comic framework from which to satire the human condition and American society, to look at all of the injustices and absurdities and humorously point them out to us.
3rd Rock cuts through our taboos and traditions with a childlike inquisitive logic and an impeccably paced humorous twist. We the viewers see ourselves in 3rd Rock, and we see ourselves as the aliens.
The humour of 3rd Rock is always twisting the viewpoint to show the angle of an outsider looking in. 3rd Rock which we know as Earth is the way travellers would look at the world - an insignificant blue speck that is The 3rd Rock from the Sun.
"As many intelligent people know, aliens are all around us. This is a story of a band of four such explorers. In order to blend in, they have assumed human form.
"This is the High Commander (Dick). He has assembled an elite team of experts: A decorated military officer (Sally), a seasoned intelligence specialist (Tommy) and, well, they had an extra seat (Harry)."
Season 1 (20 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 2 Jul 1996 | Finale: 12 Nov 1996 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 8 Aug 2012 | Finale: 22 Aug 2012 | Weekdays, 17h00
Season 2 (26 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 5 Aug 1997 | Finale: 27 Jan 1998 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 22 Aug 2012 | Finale: 10 Sep 2012 | Weekdays, 17h00
Season 3 (27 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 11 Aug 1998 | Finale: 9 Feb 1999 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 11 Sep 2012 | Finale: 28 Sep 2012 | Weekdays, 17h00
Season 4 (24 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 21 Sep 1999 | Finale: 29 Feb 2000 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 1 Oct 2012 | Finale: 16 Oct 2012 | Weekdays, 17h00
Season 5 (22 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 15 Aug 2000 | Finale: 9 Jan 2001 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 17 Oct 2012 | Finale: 30 Oct 2012 | Weekdays, 17h00
Season 6 (20 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 27 Mar 2001 | Finale: 7 Aug 2001 | Tuesdays, 18h30
Channel: Comedy Central | Premiere: 31 Oct 2012 | Finale: 13 Nov 2012 | Weekdays, 17h10