By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Sep 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Part of the fun of the new season of TV shows is making guesses as to which ones will be canceled first. It's a tough biz trying to get the most eyeballs on the major broadcast networks, and this is the greatest example of throwing items against the wall to see what sticks.

Do Contestants Matter?

Any show that has a panel of celebrity judges has a good chance of staying on the air. Lately though, our beloved singing-based reality shows have been more about the judges, and the contestants are simply the new and shiny props.

Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Keith Urban of "American Idol" are going to do their best to keep the longest-running competition running at the top of the ratings, but "X Factor" and "The Voice" will be contenders for that title. At least Fox benefits from having "American Idol" and "X Factor"on different parts of the programming schedule.

The competition between "X Factor" and "The Voice" will get the most time in the spotlight, going head-to-head here already this season.

Early Winners

In the daytime talk game, "Katie" with Katie Couric has the most buzz and is the early leader in the standings. It probably helped that her show is with ABC rather than going the syndicated route like Steve Harvey and Jeff Probst had to go. I like watching the talk show game; it is fun to see who can get the best guests and cover stories that resonate with an audience.

In drama land, NBC's "Revolution" was a ratings winner. Granted, its viewership was boosted by having "The Voice" as a lead-in. However, the show scored the highest first-night viewership for a show since ABC's latest take on "V" in 2009. If that's a measure of success, then this show will be off the air all too soon as well.

We Will Watch Anything

According to the latest Nielsen numbers, the average American spends 34 hours per week watching live TV. They then, if older than age 2, watch another six hours a week of taped content. Children 2-11 watch an average of 24 hours of TV each week, or 3 1/2 hours per day.  That number falls to 22 hours for teenagers, ages 12-17, then goes back up to 25 hours for the 18-24 year-old crowd.  Older than 65?  You watch a whopping 48 hours per week.

It's a full-time job watching TV.

SWEET VISIT: The folks at Sweet Water Organics shared on their blog this week that Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern will stop by this weekend for a visit. He and his production crew are scheduled to film segments at the organization's facility mid-day on Sunday. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and plan to offer their regular public tours.

COOKING DEMO: Susie Jimenez, who was the runner-up in the latest edition of the "Next Food Network Star," will share her recipes and tips with performances at this weekend's Milwaukee NARI Fall Home and Remodeling Show at State Fair Park. The chef will have demonstrations at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Sunday.

BIG OIL: FOX Business Network's Melissa Francis is reporting on the oil industry in special reports today and Friday. Her show airs at 4 p.m. locally, and will talk with energy experts about what will hit us the hardest – gas prices.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.