July 8, 2008 / 7:28 AM / 10 years ago

Analysis lays odds on rookie TV shows

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Fox thriller “Fringe” and CBS’ sci-fi drama “Eleventh Hour” will be the highest-rated new shows next season, while NBC’s “Kath & Kim” and CBS’ “Worst Week” will prove to be weak links in their respective comedy blocks.

That’s according to media services firm Horizon Media’s annual television report that speculates how every broadcast show will fare in the fall.

Producer J.J. Abrams’ “Fringe” revolves around a trio who explore paranormal mysteries, while Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Eleventh Hour” follows a government adviser who saves people from the worst abuses of science.

“Kath & Kim,” based on an Australian show, stars Molly Shannon and Selma Blair as a dysfunctional mother-daughter combo. “Worst Week,” an American version of the BBC’s “The Worst Week of My Life,” centers on an engaged couple.

The Horizon Media analysis contained some unsurprising claims — that such established hits as ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” NBC’s “Heroes” and CBS’ “Survivor” will continue to rule their time periods.

But there also were some surprises, with the report suggesting that ABC will overthrow CBS on Friday nights and that Fox’s under-the-radar sitcom “Do Not Disturb” will break out. In general, the report was skeptical about how new shows in general would stack up against competitors; not one new show is expected to win its time period among adults 18-49, the demographic coveted by advertisers.

After “Eleventh” and “Fringe,” Horizon had David E. Kelley’s upcoming drama “Life on Mars” as the third-highest-rated new show, yet it also expects the time-travel cop show to continue ABC’s losing streak at 10 p.m. Thursdays despite its “Grey’s” lead-in.

The CW’s “90210” is expected to outshine the network’s current buzz-heavy “Gossip Girl,” but won’t so much to help the channel’s anemic ratings.

Tuesday’s new unscripted shows — NBC’s documentary series “America’s Toughest Jobs” and ABC’s game show “Opportunity Knocks” — are expected to bring up the rear in their respective time periods among the major networks. The study likewise suggested that CBS’ new strategy of opening Wednesday night with a comedy hour featuring struggling veteran “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and rookie Jay Mohr sitcom “Project Gary” will have a rough time.

The report gave unexpectedly high marks to Fox’s workplace comedy “Do Not Disturb,” however, expecting the Jerry McConnell vehicle to build greatly on its weak “‘Til Death” lead-in Wednesday nights.

With ABC shifting reality veterans “Wife Swap” and “Supernanny” to Fridays in the fall, the report speculated that the network will take control of the evening from longtime winner CBS. Although CBS’ “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numbers” are expected to win their time periods (including besting NBC’s new drama “Crusoe”), the report has ABC’s “Supernanny” trouncing the new drama “The Ex List” in the former “Moonlight” slot to tip the scale.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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