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Kevin James

If you’re an investor who watches anything on TV (besides CNBC and The Fox Business Network), you are likely keenly aware that the new fall television season kicks off every year in September.

If you’re an investor with “skin in the game” (shares of stock in the entertainment sector) you also likely have more than passing interest in which new TV shows will become hits.


Why It Matters

The final episode of Breaking Bad on AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:AMCXB) September 29, 2013 may have earned the network as much as $8 million in advertising revenue. Not bad for 21 minutes’ worth of commercials.

TV networks have been described as similar to venture capital firms. They place expensive bets on “ideas,” many of which fail. In fact, 98% of scripts actually bought by TV networks are commercial failures.

Investing in networks that produce hits provides a significant advantage. The problem is finding those networks.

2016 Predicted Hits By Network

Nobody knows which networks will product the big hits this year but that doesn’t stop the so-called entertainment experts from expressing their opinions. Here’s a sampling of networks and new shows at least some experts think have a chance of beating those oppressive 98% odds.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DISC)

Designated Survivor which will air on ABC, stars Kiefer Sutherland as a mild-mannered cabinet member who becomes president when everyone else above him dies in a terrorist attack. The show premieres Sept. 21.

Conviction premieres Oct. 3, also on ABC, and is about a former first daughter (the White House theme continues) who, after being caught with cocaine in her purse, is given command of a fancy Conviction Integrity Unit to look into claims of innocence on the part of people in prison.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (TSX:FOXAC)

Son of Zorn is a sword-toting barbarian (cartoon) dropped into a live-action world. The show, which premiers Sept. 25 on Fox, is expected to gain viewers due to the combination of animation and live action along with the “Tarzan in the city” theme.

Pitch, premiering Sept. 22 on Fox features the first female pitcher in the major leagues. The show stars Kylie Bunbury (of Under the Dome) and has a stellar supporting cast that includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos and Tim Jo.

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSAC)

Ted Danson and Kristen Bell should be enough to bring some attention to The Good Place, which premiers on NBC Monday Sept. 19. (After the premiere, the show switches to Thursdays.) Reviewers found the writing clever and the setting (an ultra-cute heaven) intriguing.

NBC heads into fantasy world with Timeless, which premieres Oct. 3 and involves a secret time travel project that gets hacked forcing 3 “time cops” to chase all over history for the bad guys.


Kevin James plays a retiring city cop in Kevin Can Wait which opens on CBS Sept. 19. The formula sounds remarkably like the remarkably successful King of Queens and why not? If it ain’t broke …

Bull stars Michael Weatherly of NCIS as a psychological mock-trial consultant who resorts to unorthodox methods to prep his clients for their real trial. The show premieres Sept. 20 on CBS.


Time Warner Inc. (:TWXN/A) And CBS Corp.

No Tomorrow premieres Tuesday Oct. 4 on The CW, jointly owned by Time Warner and CBS. The premise is that humankind only has 8 months and a few odd days left according to Joshua Sasse (who has done his homework). He tries to convince Tori Anderson to go on a romp with him. Spoiler: She says yes.

A second CW offering, Frequency, premiers Oct. 5 and, like NBC’s Timeless, involves time travel. The show is based on the 2000 feature film of the same name.

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