Saturday, November 20, 2010

American Idol Shifts to Wednesday & Thursday Schedule for Season 10

The changes just keep coming for "American Idol."

FOX's top-rated series, which has aired on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for most of its life, will switch to Wednesdays and Thursdays this season. The move also means a number of other shakeups in the network's midseason schedule.

The "Idol" move will give "Human Target" and "Bones" new timeslots on Wednesday and Thursday nights, push "Fringe" into the dead zone of Fridays and, FOX hopes, serve as a launching pad for its new comedy "Breaking In" later in the spring. It's also an acknowledgment that "Glee" is doing well enough on its own on Tuesday nights that it no longer needs "Idol's" help in the ratings.

"Fringe" is probably the biggest loser in the shakeup. The show finishes fourth in its current Thursday timeslot, averaging around 5 million viewers per week. It gets one of the biggest bumps, percentage-wise, of any show on TV when DVR viewing is factored in, but it's likely to lose some audience at least in the overnight ratings with the move to Fridays. It will be paired with "Kitchen Nightmares."

"Bones," meanwhile, is likely to get a bit of a bump when it moves to 9:00 pm Thursdays behind "Idol." "Human Target" may as well, but it won't have much time to show itself. The network is running back-to-back episodes on January 5th and 12th, and after "Idol's" two-hour January premiere on January 19th, "Human Target" will have only three weeks with an "Idol" lead-in before going off the schedule again.

The new shows in FOX's midseason lineup are a pair of live-action comedies, "Mixed Signals" (which premieres at 9:30 pm Tuesday, February 8th) and "Breaking In" (9:30 pm Wednesday, April 6th), animated comedy "Bob's Burgers" (8:30 pm Sunday, January 9th) and crime drama "The Chicago Code" (9:00 pm Monday, Febuary 7th).

The schedule shift for "Idol" is the latest in a series of big changes for Season 10. The show has two new judges (Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler) and is tweaking its format by, among other things, skipping the Top 24 stage and going straight to a Top 12.

Here's how FOX's midseason schedule will shake out (no changes to Saturday nights):

8:00 pm "House"
9:00 pm "Lie to Me" (through January 31st) / "The Chicago Code" (premieres February 7th)

8:00 pm "Glee"
9:00 pm "Million Dollar Money Drop" (January 4th - February 1st) / "Raising Hope," "Mixed Signals" (starting February 8th)

January 5th and 12th
8:00 pm "Human Target" (back-to-back episodes)

January 19th
8:00 pm "American Idol" (two-hour season premiere)

January 26th - February 9th
8:00 pm "American Idol"
9:00 pm "Human Target" (new timeslot)

February 16th - March 30th
8:00 pm "American Idol" (two-hour episodes)

Starting April 6
8:00 pm "American Idol"
9:30 pm "Breaking In"

8:00 pm "Million Dollar Money Drop" (January 6th and 13th) / "American Idol" (starting on January 20th)
9:00 pm "Bones" (new timeslot starting January 6th)

8:00 pm "Kitchen Nightmares" (premieres January 21st)
9:00 pm "Fringe" (new timeslot starting January 28th)

7:00 pm "The Simpsons"
7:30 pm "American Dad"
8:00 pm "The Simpsons"
8:30 pm "Bob's Burgers" (premieres January 9th)
9:00 pm "Family Guy"
9:30 pm "The Cleveland Show" (new timeslot)

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