The Writers Guild of America strike crippling Hollywood is actually expected to benefit the seventh season of the U.S. TV series "American Idol."

When the popular reality series returns to Fox this week, it is expected to easily surpass the offerings from rival networks devastated by the ongoing WGA strike, the Los Angeles Times said Sunday.

Ray Dundas, an executive with an advertisement-buying firm, said the fact other networks' series have been essentially crippled by the strike has created an ideal situation for "Idol."

"You have the No. 1 program in television for the last four years, and now it's going up against even weaker competition," the Initiative senior vice president said. "'Idol' is going to do very, very well."

Such predictions have allowed Fox Broadcasting Co. to increase the cost of advertising time during the studio's successful singing series, the Times said.

While a 30-second spot during "Idol" this season initially sold for $750,000, that figure has since risen to more than $1 million thanks to the ongoing labor dispute.