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By Brad Haynes

Favorable reviews weren’t really on the side of the new NBC firefighter drama Chicago Fire as it debuted with its premiere episode last night. Entertainment Weekly TV critic Ken Tucker dubbed it “one of the new season’s dullest shows” and other critics were even less kind. But the show had a secret marketing weapon on its side…star Taylor Kinney’s (formerly of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries) main squeeze Lady Gaga.

Not only was Gaga on hand at the show’s premiere party, she took to Twitter to encourage her legion of over 30 million followers to turn on their TVs and tune in to the debut.

She also took the opportunity to pump out cell phone pics of Kinney and other cast members direct from the premiere party.

Gaga’s Twitter persuasion actually seemed to deliver quite a few tune ins from her followers.

But in the long run, Gaga’s support wasn’t enough to declare Chicago Fire a Wednesday night winner in the new shows division. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that title went to the ABC country sudser Nashville, which pulled in 8.9 million viewers compared to Chicago Fire’s 6.4 million.

The big winner of the night, although not necessarily in numbers, belonged to another alum of The Vampire Diaries, Stephen Amell. Amell’s turn as the title character in The CW’s superhero franchise Arrow was the network’s most impressive premiere since The Vampire Diaries, and the network’s most watched telecast in three years.


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