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Idol Steers Clear of Thursday Night

It appears Fox once again will steer its prized American Idol clear of Thursday nights, as the network will debut the series with two-hour specials on Tuesday, January 16 and Wednesday, January 17 at 8 p.m.

Beginning the following week, it will shift to its regular time periods of Tuesdays at 8 and Wednesdays at 9, though the network does to tend to run episodes of the shows in other nights and time periods from time to time.

Since Idol became a ratings juggernaut, there has been annual speculation that Fox may move the show in some form to Thursdays, the most lucrative night of the week.

But the network has smartly resisted, keeping it on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where it has become one of the most intimidating forces on television, causing other networks to often hold off on scheduling mid-season grids until Fox announced where the show would air and then try and counter-program.

The move also makes sense with Thursday nights even more competitive this season thanks to ABC’s sudden resurgence on the night.ABC’s shift of Grey’s Anatomy to 9 and the introduction of rookie Ugly Betty at 8 have put the network on the map Thursdays for the first time in years.