With “American Idol” struggling against “Big Bang Theory” and even “The Millers” and with “Rake” struggling against competitive test patterns and out-of-season Yule Logs, FOX has made some key mid-spring swaps.
The network announced on Monday (March 3) afternoon that the Season 12 premiere of “Hell's Kitchen” has been pushed up to Thursday, March 13 at 8 p.m. That night, “American Idol” will push back an hour to 9 p.m.
It's a good news/bad news situation for Gordon Ramsay. While “Hell's Kitchen” has been moved up to a more prominent slot, “Kitchen Nightmares” has been held back to a TBD premiere. Instead, “Rake” will move to Fridayys in the 8 p.m. hour, where it will then lead into episodes of “Enlisted” and “Raising Hope.” This shift won't help “Enlisted” and “Raising Hope” in any particular way. “Bones” repeats on Friday and recent Thursday airings of “Rake” have been doing very similar numbers.
Instead of facing “The Big Bang Theory,” “Idol” will now go against “Two and a Half Men,” though it will also be facing ABC's female-skewing favorite “Grey's Anatomy.” FOX continues to plan on trimming “Idol” to a half-hour starting on March 27, with the new comedy “Surviving Jack” still getting the vastly weakened lead-in.
Although “Idol” has been flailing in recent airings — on Twitter I said that losing to “The Millers” last week was the moment “Idol” became Willie Mays on the Mets — it still siphons between 9 and 10 million viewers and a 2.5-ish rating among adults 18-49 out of whatever hour it occupies, which could end up being very slightly good news for NBC's “Community” and “Parks and Recreation,” plus The CW's “The Vampire Diaries.”
Meanwhile, Greg Kinnear reacts to the new “Rake” time period: