Bates projects "Madman" will rank ninth among the 95 prime-time shows scheduled for next season, averaging a 15.9 rating.
Fox's "M.A.N.T.I.S." will rank 95th out of 95 shows, with a 4.8.
"Very few shows will create the excitement generated by the cream of last season's crop, `NYPD Blue,'*" according to Bates.
Indeed, even "Madman" will break into the top 20 only because of the strong programming surrounding it on NBC's Thursday night schedule.
"Madman" follows "Seinfeld" at 9:30 p.m. (ET), and Bates notes it will "wind up being the highest-rated new series not because of great concepts or great writing but rather because it will hold on to some of the audience flow from the hit shows that precede it."
Demographically, Bates predicts three new shows will break into the top 20 among the key 18-to-49-year-old group, including "Madman," ranked No. 5 with a 12.9 rating; NBC's "Friends," No. 11 with a 9.4 rating; and NBC's "Martin Short Show," No. 20 with an 8.4 rating.
While NBC will make some inroads this season with new programming, Bates predicts ABC will continue to dominate the key younger demographic.M
Joe Mandese coordinates MediaWorks.