FOX has announced its full slate of plans for Spring 2010 and, not surprisingly, it has only a slight resemblance to the schedule announced by the network at upfronts in May.
Certainly the marquee announcement in FOX’s Tuesday (Nov. 24) afternoon release is the formal scheduling of the premiere of “American Idol.” TV’s most popular show will return on Tuesday, Jan. 12 (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) and Wednesday, Jan. 13 (8 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The Wednesday premiere is only an hour to allow FOX the chance to premiere “Our Little Genius,” which is slightly confusing since “Our Little Genius” has actually been given the post-“Idol” slot on Tuesday nights, moving into that hour starting on Jan. 17. “Our Little Genius” will take the frequently preempted Tuesday post-“Idol” slot until April 13, when “Glee” returns for its back-nine in the coveted hour.
The post-“Idol” slot on Wednesday will go to “Human Target,” starting on Jan. 20. That won’t actually be the premiere of “Human Target,” though, since the Mark Valley action series will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 17 as part of a previously announced mega-event that will be started by the NFL divisional football playoffs, followed by “Human Target” at 8 p.m. and then the two-hour premiere of “24” from 9 to 11 p.m. And yes, that means FOX is programming an hour later on that evening.
Now you’ll recall that FOX had previously scheduled “Glee” for the post-“Idol” slot on Wednesday, giving the Tuesday slot to “Past Life.” So what happens with “Past Life”? Well, the WBTV drama about investigators using reincarnation and past life experiences to solve crimes will air on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. after “Bones” starting on February 11. “Fringe,” the slot’s normal occupant, will have its winter finale on February 4 and will then return on April 1 after “Past Life” has finished its run.
What other highlights should we note from FOX’s scheduling release?
Well, original scripted programming is done on Friday, at least for a while. After “Dollhouse” completes its series run on Jan. 22, the network will premiere new episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares” on Fridays at 9 p.m. starting on Jan. 29, paired with encores of “House.”
Also, FOX has set a premiere date for the Tyler Labine comedy “Sons of Tucson.” “Tucson” will premiere in the 8:30 p.m. Sunday slot on March 14. On that night, “The Cleveland Show” will move to 9:30, after “Family Guy,” while “American Dad” will shuffle off the schedule for a while.
Oh and if you want one last threat: Although FOX doesn’t have “‘Til Death” on its schedule, the release promises it will “return to the schedule at a later date.”