FOX unveiled its midseason schedule on Thursday (Jan. 5) and, in reliable FOX fashion, it hardly bears any resemblance to the lineup announced to advertisers back in May.
For FOX, the real season begins in January with the premiere of "American Idol" and the biggest question is always which shows will benefit from proximity to the unwavering karaoke juggernaut.
The answer for this year appears to be "Fringe" and the Tim Roth drama "Lie to Me."
FOX has set a two-night, four-hour premiere for the eighth season of "American Idol" for Tuesday, Jan. 13 and Wednesday, Jan. 14 (the nights after the two-night, four-hour premiere of "24"). After one week of supersized episodes, "Idol" will take its normal hour-slots at 8 p.m. ET, followed by "Fringe" on Tuesdays and "Lie to Me" on Wednesdays (series premiere on Jan. 21).
The "Idol" ripple effect will touch every corner of FOX's schedule.
With "Idol" grabbing 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, "House" will move to 8 p.m. on Mondays, leading into "24." Then, with "House" taking residence on Mondays, Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse" will be shifted to Friday nights at 9 p.m. where, starting on Friday, Feb. 13, it will be paired with the current occupant of the Monday 8 p.m. slot, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles."
And yes, that sound you just heard was a collective wail from Whedon's very vocal fanbase.
With "Idol" also holding the 8 p.m. hour on Wednesdays -- no talk of half-hour results shows this season -- "Bones" is on the move. While FOX had originally slated the reliable procedural for Fridays, it will instead air at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, where it will be joined by a new season of "Hell's Kitchen" starting on Jan. 29. And with Thursdays occupied, "Hole in the Wall" will take its disappointing ratings off to Sunday nights at 7 p.m.
FOX promises that "Prison Break" and "'Til Death" will return to the schedule at a later date. The network will also need to find slots for the animated comedies "The Cleveland Show" and "Sit Down, Shut Up," which were both slated for midseason and are both absent from the newly unveiled schedule.
As always, FOX schedules are subject to change, almost without notice.
For now, though, here's what your FOX schedule will look like, starting in January:
Monday, Jan. 12:
8:00-10:00 PM "24" (Season Premiere, Part 2)
Mondays, beginning Jan. 19:
8:00-9:00 PM "House" (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM "24" (Time Period Premiere)
Tuesday, Jan. 13:
8:00-10:00 PM "American Idol" (Season Premiere, Part 1)
Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 20:
FOX Schedules 'American Idol,' Moves 'Dollhouse'
Network midseason schedule looks good for 'Fringe,' 'Lie to Me'
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