American Idol moves to Wed. (vs. Survivor) and Thurs. (with one-hour results shows, dammit)

After years of rumors that American Idol would move from its comfortable Tuesday and Wednesday night timeslots, the show is officially moving to Wednesdays and Thursdays, and will once again have hour-long results shows, meaning Fox lied about that yet again. The revamped version of the show will now directly compete against Survivor on Wednesdays.

The series will debut Jan. 19 and air Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8, with two-hour episodes on Wednesdays until April 6, when it drops to 90-minute episodes. The Thursday results shows will be an hour long. (When Fox announced its 2010-2011 schedule in May, Fox again promised to shorten results shows, but we’ve been burned by that before.)

CBS is probably glad it has Russell vs. Rob on Survivor: Redemption Island in the bag for Wednesdays, because that will give it a fighting shot against a significantly different American Idol.

Fox actually said that it moved the number-one show on TV in part because CBS moved Survivor off of Thursdays, making Thursdays more vulnerable. Fox VP of strategic planning Preston Beckman told the Los Angeles Times that they thought, “Here’s the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. Thursday just isn’t what it used to be … there are still some of the strongest shows on TV, but none of them are in growth mode.”

But Joe Adalian cites an anonymous industry source who says there’s another possible reason: it’s an easy excuse of the show stumbles.

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