Posted: Wed., Nov. 30, 2005, 11:36am PT
'Idol,' 'House' to stay put; 'Trading' to replace 'Killer'
By JOSEF ADALIAN
Fox has ended weeks of speculation about its scheduling plans for "American Idol" by deciding to do...pretty much what it said it would do last May.
Despite fevered guessing by industryites and some overeager media outlets, Fox Wednesday said "American Idol" will remain on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when it returns for its fifth season in January. And, as expected, frosh drama will slide into a post- "Idol" timeslot.
Biggest change from what Fox announced in May: "House" will remain in its current 9 p.m. Tuesday timeslot, where it's a solid hit. And the Wednesday night "Idol" results show will avoid a confrontation with ABC's "Lost" by airing at 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m.
In addition, laffers "That 70s Show" and "Stacked" are now set to follow Thursdays from 9-10 p.m., starting in March. On Fridays, Fox will move unheralded reality hit "Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy" to 9 p.m., replacing the now-canceled "Killer Instinct".
And as expected, "Prison Break" will return from hiatus in March, airing Mondays at 8 (Daily Variety, Nov. 29). In January and February, Fox will keep the 8 p.m. Monday slot warm with unscripted s "Ice Skating with the Stars."
Moves by Fox make it more likely NBC will now shift "My Name is Earl" to Thursdays, though the net's made nothing official.
Key premiere dates for the Fox midseason :
• "American Idol" returns Tuesday, Jan. 17. A special two-hour edition airs Jan. 18.
• "Bones" moves to its 9 p.m. Wednesday timeslot Jan. 25.
• "'70s" and "Stacked" bow on Thursdays March 2.
• "Trading Spouses" shifts to Fridays on Jan. 6.
• "Skating with Celebrities" premieres Jan. 23. "Prison Break" returns with original episodes March 20.