For those who care…

…FOX sets ‘Idol’ saturation sked
Bruised and battered from a difficult fall, FOX has cause for optimism: “American Idol” will premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Currently mired in fourth place among adults 18-49, FOX execs can begin the countdown to mid-January, when “American Idol” will return to rescue the network from the doldrums with a four-hour, two-night audition spectacular.
On Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, FOX will air “Idol” audition footage — shrieking hacks with the occasional talented singer mixed in — from 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET. Starting the following week, regularly scheduled hours of “Idol” will air at 8 p.m. on Tuesday and 9 p.m. on Wednesday.
That means that the sixth season of “Idol” will kick off the day after “24” finishes its own two-night, four-hour opening. Those two programs should be enough to help FOX forget about a fall that has included “Vanished,” “Standoff,” “Happy Hour,” “The Rich List” and the least watched World Series in television history.
The audition shows, from Los Angeles, San Antonio, Birmingham, Memphis, Minneapolis, New York City and Seattle, will be spread over six episodes, showing on Jan. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31. Guest judges for that leg of the process included Olivia Newton John, Carol Bayer Sager and Jewel.
The semifinal episodes will air on Feb. 6, 7, 13 and 14. In theory that means that the Top 32 will begin vying for America’s affections starting on Feb. 20.
If history has taught us anything, FOX may attempt to sneak a few extra “Idol” hours into the mix in February, perhaps highlighting the best and worst auditioners?