Fox (again) promises half-hour American Idol results shows, delays auditions to Sept.

The biggest reality TV news in Fox’s 2010-2011 schedule announcement is that American Idol 10 will only be allotted 90 minutes for performance shows on Tuesdays and 30 minutes for results shows on Wednesdays, though Fox has previously said we’d get half-hour results shows, which never materialized.

American Idol 10 will push back its auditions to September, perhaps to give producers time to find a new fourth judge, so they won’t have to have rotating judges like last year. Fox chair Peter Rice told reporters this morning, “We do have some time before we need to have a judge for shooting. We’ll start shooting the auditions probably in September this year.” As to who will replace Simon Cowell, Rice said they want someone who “provides both music credibility and incredible entertainment value.”

Fox president Kevin Reilly told reporters that executives are aware of our complaints: “We’re changing the Idol format next year. We’re heard consistently from audiences they would like more performances, tighter results shows, so that’s what we’re going to do as we get into the spring.” As to its declining ratings, Rice said the 9 percent decrease they expect “in comparison with other television shows, that’s actually pretty good.”

American Idol will air from 8 to 9:30 on Tuesdays, and at 8:30 on Wednesdays, immediately before Glee. However, half-hour results shows were promised two years ago and didn’t actually happen. Rumors that the show would move to Wednesday and Thursdays were, once again, completely unfounded.

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