Brand new comedy series Bad Teacher is set to premiere on CBS tonight, adapting the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie for the small screen with Fringe's Ari Graynor in the driving seat as the titular inept educator. Graynor stars as Meredith Graynor, a sassy blonde trophy wife who finds herself divorced and broke due to the pre-nup.

Ari Graynor
'Bad Teacher' Lead Ari Graynor Is A Different Kettle Of Fish To Cameron Diaz.

Embellishing her C.V. with fairly ludicrous claims, Meredith takes a teaching job at a local middle school in order to meet rich, divorced dads. She quickly wins over the emotionally needy principal (David Alan Grier), simultaneously befriends and takes advantage of nerdy teacher (Sara Gilbert) and clashes with the staff queen bee and fellow teacher Ginny (Kristin Davis).

Watch CBS' 'Bad Teacher' Behind The Scenes Clip:

Critical reception for the first few episodes of Bad Teacher is middling to positive, with many finding it a shame that the TV show couldn't bring the same sinfulness of Diaz's diabolical, drug-addled, dumpster-mouthed portrayal, making for an altogether lighter experience.

Positing that a better title for the show would be "Mediocre Teacher," the Boston Globe laments the comedy's reluctance to mine the same devious depths as the movie: "What the show really needs is a home on a cable network like FX or AMC, which would allow "Bad Teacher" to have a darker tone."

Watch The CBS 'Bad Teacher' Preview:

"The characters [...] are less of a freak show here," says the LA Times, adding "unlike Diaz's bad teacher, Graynor's is not a sociopath, merely selfish, and plausibly correctable." Regardless, the whole ensemble is praised: "But all in all, it's a pleasant, sunny and well-played ephemeral farce; Gilbert, Grier, Hansen and Davis are all good to see again, and Graynor inhabits her character with verve and increasing grace."

The LA Times isn't the only one to rain praise on Graynor's big new role; IGN heralds the Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist star as "the "gold star" of the series, as it were, and her comedic performance has all the makings of a strong female lead."

Sara Gilbert
'The Big Bang Theory' Star Sarah Gilbert Plays Another Comedy Nerd In 'Bad Teacher.'

""Bad Teacher" earns better than passing grades - and whatever its future, heralds Graynor's arrival as a likely overachiever," adds Variety. Whilst the Boston Globe pumps up the praise: "Graynor, a Boston native and Broadway and film veteran,has just the right blowsy attitude and the timing to pivot from sassy to sentimental."

Bad Teacher premieres Thursday, April 24 9:30pm on CBS.

More: How did Ari Graynor reduce Seth Rogen's wife to tears?

More: Sara Gilbert marries girlfriend Linda Perry.

Watch The 'Bad Teacher' Trailer [Foul Language Warning]: