American Idol got a makeover with Simon Cowell's exit, two new judges and several format changes. Now it's getting a new time slot.
Fox announced a midseason schedule late Friday that shifts TV's No. 1 series to Wednesdays and Thursdays from its longtime home on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, fulfilling a plan it has long discussed. The talent competition returns Jan. 19 with a 2-hour audition episode.
The weekly performance episode will now air on Wednesdays at 8 ET/PT, and range from one to two hours, while a one-hour results show will now air regularly on Thursdays at 8. The shift enables Fox to keep its Tuesday lineup mostly intact, with Glee staying at 8, followed by Raising Hope and new sitcom Mixed Signals, which is replacing Running Wilde as of Feb. 8, when Glee returns from an extended holiday break with original episodes. But it also allows Fox to blunt gains by CBS, which has scored by moving The Big Bang Theory to lead off Thursdays, a night that has seen sharp ratings declines for hits such as CSI and Grey's Anatomy despite high demand by movie studios and other advertisers looking for weekend business.
The Idol move has sparked other changes: Bones will shift to 9 as of Jan. 20, and J.J. Abrams' sci-fi series Fringe will move to Fridays at 9 starting Jan. 28, following Kitchen Nightmares. On Sundays, new animated sitcom Bob's Burgers will follow The Simpsons starting Jan. 9, bumping The Cleveland Show to 9:30, and American Dad will move to 7:30 as of Jan. 16.
But Mondays will remain steady with House and Lie to Me until new cop drama The Chicago Code replaces Lie on Feb. 7. Human Target will stay on the Wednesday schedule until Idol resumes two-hour episodes on Feb. 16. Idol will remain at two hours until April 6, when it condenses to 90 minutes for the remainder of the season and another new comedy, Breaking In, fills the 9:30 half-hour