Fox Reveals Midseason Schedule; ‘Idol’ Back Jan. 12

“Our Little Genius” debuts, “24” returns, “Glee” and “Fringe” take long winter naps.

Fox has it all figured out for midseason, and of course it all starts with the return of "American Idol."

The reality competition show returns for its ninth season with a two-night premiere Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 8-10 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 8-9 p.m.

Debuting after the Wednesday "Idol": "Our Little Genius," an unscripted series featuring "America’s most gifted kids," Fox says.

Shows that will be taking a break include "Glee," which airs its fall finale Wednesday, Dec. 9, and then is off until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, a new night for the musical show that potentially pits it against ABC’s "Lost." And "Fringe" airs its winter finale Thursday, Feb. 4, and then goes on hiatus until it returns Thursday, April 1.

Also, as previously announced, Joss Whedon’s "Dollhouse" airs its series finale Friday, Jan. 22 (9-10 p.m.).

On Sunday, Jan. 17, Fox airs the NFC divisional playoff (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT). That’s followed by the series preview of "Human Target" (8-9 p.m. ET/PT) (left), an action-drama about a private contractor (Mark Valley) who will stop at nothing – even if it means becoming a human target – to save his clients. The season premiere of "Human Target" airs Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 9-10, following "American Idol."

The Jan. 17 lineup concludes with the first installment of the two-night, four-hour premiere of "24" from 9-11 p.m., with another two hours of "24" Monday, Jan. 18, from 8-10 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 10, will be devoted to "The Simpsons," beginning with the animated series’ milestone 450th episode, “Once Upon a Time in Springfield” (8-8:30 p.m.), in which Bart and Milhouse try to help Krusty regain his popularity after network executives force him to restructure the format of his TV show by hiring a female sidekick, Princess Penelope (guest voice Anne Hathaway).

Then, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock presents "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice!" (8:30-9:30 p.m.). The documentary special examines the global phenomenon of  the "Simpsons"  the “Best. 20 Years. Ever.” yearlong global celebration of the show that launched in January 2009.

A new season of "Kitchen Nightmares" with Gordon Ramsay debuts Friday, Jan. 29, at 9 p.m.

"Past Life," 

a new drama series inspired by the book “The Reincarnationist,” about detectives who investigate the world of the unexplained, will have its two-hour series premiere Thursday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. Its time period premiere will be at 9 p.m. the following Thursday, Feb. 18. As reported, the show will spell "Fringe," which will take a hiatus in order to run uninterrupted new episodes in 2010.

Todd Holland’s family comedy "Sons of Tucson," about three young brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison, debuts Sunday, March 14 (8:30-9 p.m.).

 

Here’s Fox’s recap of its 2009-2010 MIDSEASON SCHEDULE

(All times ET/PT except as noted)

 

MONDAY

Monday, Jan. 4:

7:30 PM-CC ET TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL (LIVE)

 

Monday, Jan. 18:

8:00-10:00 PM 24 (2-Night / 4-Hour Season Premiere, Part 2)

 

Mondays, beginning Jan. 25:

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM 24 (Time Period Premiere)

 

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TUESDAY

Tuesday, Jan. 5:

7:30 PM-CC ET FEDEX ORANGE BOWL (LIVE)

 

Tuesday, Jan. 12:

8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 1)

 

Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 19:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Time Period Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM OUR LITTLE GENIUS (Time Period Premiere)

 

Tuesdays, beginning April 13:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL

9:00-10:00 PM GLEE (Time Period Premiere)

 

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WEDNESDAY

Wednesday, Jan. 13:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 2)

9:00-10:00 PM OUR LITTLE GENIUS (Series Premiere)

 

Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 20:

8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL

9:00-10:00 PM HUMAN TARGET (Series Premiere)

 

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THURSDAY

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 14 (no change to lineup):

8:00-9:00 PM BONES (All-New Episodes)

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE (All-New Episodes)

 

Thursday, Feb. 4:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE (Winter Finale)

 

Thursday, Feb. 11:

8:00-10:00 PM PAST LIFE (Two-Hour Series Premiere)

 

Thursdays, beginning Feb. 18:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM PAST LIFE (Time Period Premiere)

 

Thursdays, beginning April 1:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES

9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE (Time Period Premiere)

 

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FRIDAY

Friday, Jan. 1:

8:00 PM-CC ET ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL (LIVE)

 

Fridays, beginning Jan. 8:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Encore Episodes)

9:00-10:00 PM DOLLHOUSE (All-New Episodes)

 

Friday, Jan. 22:

8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Encore Episode)

9:00-10:00 PM DOLLHOUSE (Series Finale)

 

Fridays, beginning Jan. 29:

8:00-9:00 PM HOUSE (Encore Episodes)

9:00-10:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Season Premiere)

 

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SATURDAY

Saturdays (no change to lineup):

8:00-8:30 PM COPS

8:30-9:00 PM COPS

9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S MOST WANTED

11:00 PM-Midnight THE WANDA SYKES SHOW

Midnight-12:30 AM SIT DOWN, SHUT UP

 

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SUNDAY

Sunday, Jan. 10:

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (450th Milestone Episode)

8:30-9:30 PM THE SIMPSONS 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: IN 3-D! ON ICE!

9:30-10:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW

 

Sunday, Jan. 17:

4:00 PM-CC ET NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF (LIVE)

8:00-9:00 PM HUMAN TARGET (Series Preview)

9:00-11:00 PM 24 (2-Night / 4-Hour Season Premiere, Part 1)

 

Sunday, Jan. 24:

6:00 PM-CC ET NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (LIVE)

 

Sundays, beginning Jan. 31 (no change to lineup):

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (All-New Episodes)

8:30-9:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW (All-New Episodes)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY (All-New Episodes)

9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD (All-New Episodes)

 

Sunday, March 14:

8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM SONS OF TUCSON (Series Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Time Period Premiere)

 

[EDITOR’S NOTE 1: LIE TO ME will return to the schedule in the late spring, and ‘TIL DEATH will return to the schedule at a later date.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 2: THE CLEVELAND SHOW takes over the timeslot previously held by AMERICAN DAD, which will return to the schedule at a later date.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 3: THE SIMPSONS milestone 450th episode and The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice! special, which were previously announced to air Thursday, Jan. 14, are now scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 10.]