"Alcatraz": Is it the new "Lost"?

Alcatraz Island is seen during the premiere of the Fox television show Alcatraz in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AP Photo
Alcatraz Island is seen during the premiere of the Fox television show Alcatraz in San Francisco, Jan. 11, 2012.
AP Photo

(CBS) "Alcatraz," J.J. Abrams' latest sci-fi adventure, premiered with a double episode on Fox Monday night and the jury is still out.

Promotions for the series have billed it as the next "Lost," Abrams' critically acclaimed series that aired on ABC for six seasons. "Lost" often turns up on lists of all-time best TV offerings.

The premise of Alcatraz is that when Alcatraz was closed in 1963, its prisoners simply disappeared, only to pop up in the present, where a spunky cop and a weird Alcatraz historian hunt them down.

Like "Lost," it involves an island, time travel, flashbacks and stars Jorge Garcia.

Here is what some of the critics have to say about it:

Ken Tucker of EW.com: "Combining cop drama with supernatural elements, it has, at its best, the elements of an old Steve Ditko-drawn 'Strange Suspense Story' tale. At its weakest, 'Alcatraz' is a mash-up: 'CSI,' ' Fringe,' 'Prison Break.'"

Jen Chaney of The Washington Post: "'Alcatraz' feels like a cocktail that mixes ingredients from 'Lost,' 'Fringe' and 'The Green Mile.'"

Whitney Matheson of USA Today: "First off, how great is it to see Jorge again? He's definitely the most charismatic member of this ensemble and, like on Lost, provides the frequent "Whoa, this is weird!" everyman observations/comic relief. I'm also glad to see Hollywood vets Sam Neill and Robert Forster on the small screen, and Parminder Nagra's character became much more intriguing in the premiere's second hour."

Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times: "Undoubtedly 'Alcatraz' is among the best the midseason has to offer, and though it may whip like the TARDIS through the outer reaches of time and believability, Abrams wisely included a procedural element to sustain it; Alcatraz is, after all, built upon a rock."

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter: "For starters, 'Alcatraz' is another one of those series you want to love but end up liking, and even then with some caveats."