American Idol 4 begins its run tonight.

American Idol 4 begins its run tonight.
American Idol 4 debuts with a two-hour premiere tonight at 8 p.m. ET, followed by an hour-long show tomorrow night that also airs at 8. (Next week it airs for an hour at 8 both nights, and eventually settles into a Tuesday night at 8 and Wednesday night at 9 pattern; during the semi-finals, the show will air Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.) The show is undergoing some changes, including a shift in the semi-final structure, as 12 men and 12 women will face off during that round. The show also gets a new set and graphics, woo. Although it’s obvious that FOX needs this show to recover from poor ratings in the fall, FOX president Gail Berman told TV critics “we can expect to see audience dispersion and some declines. I think that is only natural.” She added, “What surprised me last year, its third year, was that its audience grew. We certainly don’t expect to see that this year.” In other words, if the ratings suck, we’ll look like we expected it; otherwise, we can pretend that the show is defying our low, low expectations.

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