‘American Idol’ Changes Its Time Slot, May Soon Face ‘X Factor’ Rivalry

Becky Bain | December 21, 2009 12:16 pm

American Idol is changing its time slot for its ninth season, and in typical Fox fashion, the scheduling masterminds are doing pretty much everything possible to prompt a national DVR meltdown—all in the name of trying to build viewership for a couple of the network’s new shows. Is Fox also preparing for the long-anticipated American debut of Simon Cowell’s British cash machine, The X Factor? Time slot info and more after the jump.

Idol premieres on Tuesday January 12 at 8 p.m. with a two-hour audition round. It continues the next day, Wednesday January 13 at 8 p.m., with a one-hour episode, followed by a new Fox reality competition show, Our Little Genius at 9 p.m. (Looks like the condescending game show What Do Kids Know? from Magnolia is becoming a reality.) The schedule is the same the following week, with Idol on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m., it’s most common time slot for the last eight years. But the big shift comes January 27, when Idol will start on Wednesdays at 9 p.m., with a new action/drama called Human Target leading in at 8 p.m.

Though Idol has survived plenty of ups and downs, the ninth season is looking especially pivotal from a TV biz standpoint—it may be the last season before it faces intra-network competition from none other than Simon himself. His Idol contract ends in May, and the Times of London reports that, after endless speculation, Cowell’s British hit The X Factor will be begin filming in Los Angeles in September 2011.” Reports indicate it will air on Fox. Is Idol‘s future starting to sound a little pitchy?