Surprise Hits and Misses: Kid Nation
Surprise Hits and Misses: Kid Nation
In BuddyTV's 2007 Fall TV Guide, we scoured the new shows for this year's biggest potential hits and misses. We found the ones that you should be following and which ones will probably get canceled early. The hits include Journeyman, Kid Nation and Dirty Sexy Money while the misses are Samantha Who?, Viva Laughlin, and Nashville.

We all know about the controversy surrounding CBS' new reality show Kid Nation.  It was inevitable.  If you place 40 kids in a ghost town with no adult supervision, there are going to be ethical questions raised.  It appears that CBS will not incur any legal damage, but that's not I want to discuss. What I'm wondering is, will Kid Nation become a ratings success?  For a variety of reasons, I'm leading towards "yes."  Regardless of reviews, regardless of bad press, regardless of production values or presentation, Kid Nation is bound to become a big hit, at least this season.

No matter what the PR people may say, CBS is ecstatic with the media attention Kid Nation is receiving, negative or not.  All publicity is good publicity, after all.  The main thing this heightened awareness of the show will do is expose everyone to Kid Nation's explosive premise.  Even if you revile the concept of the show, it's impossible not to be curious.  It may be exploitative, sure, but its also a social experiment that wouldn't be possible if it weren't for reality television. 

Reality shows with dynamic, even gimmicky concepts, generally do well in their first season.  People are curious about high-concept, well-publicized reality shows.  Hell, the first season of The Simple Life received great ratings and that show was terrible.  I just don't see how, with all the buzz the show is receiving, that Kid Nation won't at least receive solid ratings.  Everyone I've talked to about Kid Nation has been interested in the show, whether they thought it was morally reprehensible or not.

And, in terms of media coverage, it's the tip of the iceberg.  Once the show premieres, think of how much fun the talking heads on the cable news channels will have discussing the exploitation of America's children and the evils of reality television.  How could Kid Nation not be a success?

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Read about why we think Journeyman and Dirty Sexy Money will be the other surprise hits this year and why we don't think Samantha Who?, Viva Laughlin and Nashville will go far. Comment and tell us what you think.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV
(Image courtesy of CBS)