'Idol' Tuesday Expands to Tackle 'Dancing'


Next Tuesday (March 27) night's "American Idol" will run a little long, not so long that you'll necessarily notice, but long enough so that "Dancing with the Stars" will feel it.

FOX announced on Thursday morning that next week's Tuesday performance show, featuring performances by the Top 10 and guest mentoring from Gwen Stefani, will go from 8 p.m. ET until 9:07 p.m.

It isn't surprising that "Idol" will take a little bit of extra time. For the past two weeks, for example, the show has managed to milk two hours of programming out of its performance episodes.

Next Tuesday, though, "Idol" was supposed to drop to a mere 60 minutes, allowing viewers to smoothly transition into the time period premiere of the latest installment of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Buoyed by curiosity about Heather Mills' easily detachable limb, "Dancing" got off to a robust start this week in a special Monday launch.

The official explanation, of course, is that 60 minutes wasn't enough time to accommodate Sanjaya, Haley and the rest of the "Idol" Top 10, while still finding enough minutes to show the depth of Stefani's coaching. The ability to eat into the ratings for "Dancing" must just be an added bonus.

FOX swears that "House" will air in its entirety beginning at 9:08, but try explaining that to your TiVo.

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