While blockbuster films based on characters from all corners of the comic book publishing landscape have proven to be massive tent poll hits for movie studios, four-color adaptations over the past decade have rarely broken out of the "cult favorite" category and into runaway ratings territory. However, in 2010 it appears as though the Fox Network will be giving DC Comics adaptation "Human Target" a significant promotional push by pairing it with their #1 reality show phenomenon.
As the Hollywood Reporter reports, the Fox midseason schedule will see "Human Target" follow singing competition "American Idol" on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm starting on January 20. This will come after a high profile launch early that week on Sunday January 17 when the pilot will air in between the NFC Divisional Playoff game of the NFL and the season premier of Fox's hit action drama "24." Over the past few years, "Idol" has averaged between 20 and 30 million viewers, and while it's numbers have dipped slightly in recent seasons, the show remains a TV juggernaut which Fox has used to bolster the ratings of new dramas like "Fringe" and special premiers like last season's advanced showing the "Glee" pilot.
"Human Target" – based on a character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino who was most recently featured in a Vertigo series written by Peter Milligan – focuses on Christopher Chance, a private bodyguard whose method of protection involves posing as characters close to his clients in order to draw potential assassins his way. The series stars actor Mark Valley and features well-known faces to TV watchers and comic fans alike including Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley. The show received a heavy promotional push at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, and CBR was on the scene with a review of the pilot and a video interview with head writer Jon Steinberg.
With such a prime spot in the schedule, "Human Targer" has at chance at earning ratings that can turn its 13-episode order into a long-running network hit, however the full extent of the show's competition has yet to be seen. In the meantime, interested comic fans can catch up with Milligan's take on the character with the new "Human Target: Chance Meetingst" trade paperback, which goes on sale January 13 from DC Comics.