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Fox announces midseason schedule and moves 'American Idol' to Wednesdays and Thursdays


So much for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Sensing an opening on Thursday nights now that CBS' reality hit "Survivor" has moved off that night, Fox is moving "American Idol" from Tuesday and Wednesday nights to Wednesday and Thursday nights when the talent show returns Jan. 19.

The shift of "American Idol" is just one of several moves Fox disclosed as part of its midseason programming strategy late Friday afternoon, including the scheduling of several new comedies and a game show that the network hopes will become the next "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

"American Idol" has appeared on Thursday nights before on occasion, but this is the first time it will reside there full-time. Thursday is a big night for television as movie studios and car companies traditionally spend heavily on that night in hopes of drumming up business for the weekend.

In an interview, Preston Beckman, Fox's executive vice president of strategic planning, said the idea of moving an episode of "American Idol" to Thursday first crossed the network's mind when CBS moved its reality hit "Survivor" out of its longtime Thursday 8 p.m. home to Wednesday nights this fall.

"Here's the opportunity we've been waiting for," Beckman said. "Thursday just isn't what it used to be ... there are still some of the strongest shows on TV, but none of them are in growth mode."

Of course, some might say the same thing about "American Idol." After all, when it returns in January, it will be missing Simon Cowell, the judge who has been the driving force behind the show for almost a decade. New judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez may bring in some initial curiosity, but most industry observers expect ratings to decline from last year.

Still, "American Idol" will likely be the No. 1 show of the season yet again.

Another reason Fox was able to move "American Idol" off of Tuesday was the strong performance of "Glee," which has taken off this fall.

Fox also said it will premiere the new romantic comedy "Mixed Signals" in February in the Tuesday 9:30 p.m. slot, which had been occupied by "Running Wilde," a show that will likely not be back. A new comedy called "Breaking In" starring Christian Slater will premiere in April on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m.

Also hitting the schedule in January will be the game show "Million Dollar Money Drop," which will get something of a sneak peek in late December.

Other moves include the cult favorite "Fringe" from Thursday to Friday night.

Shows coming off the schedule early next year include "Lie to Me" and "Human Target." Beckman said both could return with original episodes next summer.

Here is the Fox lineup (after the jump), beginning in January. New shows are marked in bold. Warning: Some returning shows are premiering on certain nights and times and then moving to regular time slots.


8:00-10:00 PM            LIE TO ME (special two-hour episode on Jan. 10)
Mondays, beginning Jan. 17:

8:00-9:00 PM              HOUSE
9:00-10:00 PM            LIE TO ME
Mondays, beginning Feb. 7

8:00-9:00 PM              HOUSE
9:00-10:00 PM            THE CHICAGO CODE (series premiere)

Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 4:

8:00-9:00 PM              GLEE (encore episodes)
9:00-10:00 PM            MILLION DOLLAR MONEY DROP

Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 8:

8:00-9:00 PM              GLEE
9:00-9:30 PM              RAISING HOPE
9:30-10:00 PM            MIXED SIGNALS


Wednesday, Jan. 5 and 12:
8:00-10:00 PM            HUMAN TARGET (two special two-hour episodes)
Wednesday, Jan. 19:
8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL (two-hour season premiere)
Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 26:
8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM            HUMAN TARGET
Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 16:
8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL
Wednesdays, beginning April 6:
8:00-9:30 PM              AMERICAN IDOL
9:30-10:00 PM            BREAKING IN (series premiere)

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 6:
8:00-9:00 PM              MILLION DOLLAR MONEY DROP
9:00-10:00 PM            BONES
Thursdays, beginning Jan. 20:
8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM            BONES  


Friday, Jan. 21:
8:00-9:00 PM              KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (season premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM            KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (encore)
Fridays, beginning Jan. 28:
8:00-9:00 PM              KITCHEN NIGHTMARES
9:00-10:00 PM            FRINGE

Saturdays, beginning Jan. 22 (no change to lineup):

8:00-8:30 PM              COPS
8:30-9:00 PM              COPS (encores)
9:00-10:00 PM            AMERICA’S MOST WANTED

Sunday, Jan. 9:
8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM              BOB’S BURGERS (series premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM            THE CLEVELAND SHOW
Sunday, Jan. 16 and 23:

7:00-7:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS (encores)
7:30-8:00 PM              AMERICAN DAD
8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM              BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM            THE CLEVELAND SHOW
Sunday, Feb. 6:

10:30 PM ET/7:30 PT    GLEE (post-Super Bowl episode)
Sundays, beginning Feb. 13:
7:00-7:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS
7:30-8:00 PM              AMERICAN DAD
8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM              BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM            THE CLEVELAND SHOW

-- Joe Flint


Photo: "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson with host Ryan Seacrest on Nov. 10 at the show's San Francisco auditions. Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Comments () | Archives (4)

Wow, FOX, thanks for the final nail in the coffin for Fringe by putting it on Friday nights.

It seems more likely that the real reason Fox is moving "American Idol" from Tuesday-Wednesday to Wednesday-Thursday is because ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and CBS's resurgent "NCIS" have been eating away at the graying "American Idol's" ratings. They desperately need to do something now that Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell have left the show. Their entire lineup depends on the success of "Idol" so they need to shake things up. The ratings this year will reveal which way the show ... and the network ... are heading.

Wow, Fox. Dumb move. Why is American Idol even a priority? It may have been a hit show back in the day, but now it's a dud. The show's been beating the same drum for a long time and, to me, died last season. No huge overhaul in the show's dynamics are going to bring it back to life. I'm an avid Fringe follower and will watch it any day of the week, but the move to Friday can do the show more harm than good. All because Fox can't learn to just let American Idol go. It's done.

And Million Dollar Money Drop?! Come on. We don't need any more game shows. We don't need any more reality shows for that matter.

I won't be watching American Idol. As a matter of fact, I probably won't be watching Fox at all on Wednesdays OR Thursdays.... There are much more interesting shows to watch.

Fringe is the only original programming on Fox. Why in the world would you move it to Friday when all the people who watch are out partying? Friday has traditionally been a poor night for success on TV.

Stupid programming. Is Glenn Beck responsible for this?


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