American Idol 7 returns as usual in January; Hell’s Kitchen 4 will debut in April

FOX’s spring savior, American Idol, will air on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as usual, despite the writers’ strike. The seventh season will debut January 14 at 8 p.m. with a two-hour audition episode, and follow that with a two-hour episode on Wednesday at 8.

American Idol 7 will have hour-long episodes on Wednesdays until March 12, when it moves to 9 p.m. and airs half-hour results shows. The network has not yet announced when or even if the show will expand to three nights a week for the semi-final round.

While Ryan, Simon, Randy, and Paula are staying relatively consistent, Gordon Ramsay is returning to abuse a new group of chefs earlier than expected. Instead of debuting in the summer, Hell’s Kitchen 4 will debut in the spring, on April 1 at 9. That’s a Tuesday, meaning it will follow Idol on Tuesday nights until a winner is crowned.

FOX Announces Revised Lineup for 2007-08 Season [FOX press release]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.