'American Idol' returns Jan. 12, plus more FOX midseason news

simoncowell_americanidol_290.jpgThe Death Star of television, "American Idol," will begin its ninth season on Jan. 12.

That's the lead item in a typically busy FOX midseason schedule, which features the usual mix of premieres, returns and fall shows going on hiatus -- though as FOX schedules go, this one is fairly close to the one the network announced in May.

The only major changes are the new game show "Our Little Genius" getting the post-"Idol" Tuesday spot starting in late January and the drama "Past Life," which was initially slated for Tuesday nights, getting a Thursday-night berth while "Fringe" takes a winter/spring break. FOX will also roll out a new season of "Kitchen Nightmares" on Fridays after "Dollhouse" ends its run.

The network's other new shows, "Human Target" and "Sons of Tucson," will debut as previously scheduled. "Human Target" gets a post-NFL playoff launch on Sunday, Jan. 17 and then moving to Wednesdays starting Jan. 20, while "Tucson" joins the Sunday comedy block on March 14.

The eighth season of "24" gets its usual two-night, four-hour premiere on Jan. 17 and 18 and will take up residence at 9 p.m. Mondays on Jan. 25.

"Fringe" will return April 1, and "Glee" will be back on April 9 -- and move from Wednesday to Tuesday night, opposite "Lost" on ABC.

FOX also has picked up a full season of "Lie to Me," but it hasn't given the show a spot on the midseason schedule yet. For now the network says the show will be back "in the late spring."

One other note: FOX has decided to move the 20th anniversary celebration of "The Simpsons" from Jan. 14 -- the date of the series' first regular episode in 1990 -- to Sunday, Jan. 10. The show's 450th episode will air that night, followed by an hour-long documentary directed by Morgan Spurlock called "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!"

Here's how the midseason schedule breaks down:

Tuesday, Jan. 12

8 p.m.
"American Idol" season premiere (two hours)

Wednesday, Jan. 13

8 p.m.
"American Idol" Wednesday premiere
9 p.m. "Our Little Genius" series premiere

markvalley_humantarget_290_001.jpgSunday, Jan. 17

8 p.m.
"Human Target" series premiere
9 p.m. "24" season premiere (two hours)

Monday, Jan. 18

8 p.m.
"24" (two hours)

Tuesday, Jan. 19

9 p.m.
"Our Little Genius" (time-period premiere)

Wednesday, Jan. 20

9 p.m.
"Human Target" (time-period premiere)

Friday, Jan. 22

9 p.m.
"Dollhouse" series finale

Monday, Jan. 25

8 p.m.
"House"
9 p.m. "24" (time-period premiere)

Friday, Jan. 29

9 p.m.
"Kitchen Nightmares" season premiere

Thursday, Feb. 4

9 p.m.
"Fringe" midseason finale

Thursday, Feb. 11

8 p.m.
"Past Life" series premiere (two hours)

Thursday, Feb. 18

8 p.m.
"Bones"
9 p.m. "Past Life" (time-period premiere)

Sunday, March 14

8:30 p.m.
"Sons of Tucson" series premiere
9:30 p.m. "The Cleveland Show" (new timeslot)

Thursday, April 1

9 p.m.
"Fringe" (return)

Tuesday, April 13

9 p.m.
"Glee" (new night)

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Related:


'Fringe' taking a seven-week hiatus
'Lie to Me' showrunner announces full-season pickup
'Lost' final season premiere date announced
'Chuck' gets a January premiere date

Photo credits: FOX
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