Idol Gives Back will start at 7:30 p.m., announces charity beneficiaries

For the April 9 edition of American Idol 7, Fox will do something extremely unusual: start the episode a half-hour before prime-time, at 7:30 p.m. ET. That episode is the show’s charity telethon fundraiser, and it will air for 2.5 hours.

A Fox press release only notes “a special 7:30 PM start time,” and does not explain why the show needs that extra half hour, or what the world will do without its Simpsons reruns, Judge Judy, or whatever else airs in syndication at that time.

Fox has also announced the charities that will receive the cash raised: the Children’s Defense Fund; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Make It Right, which Fox says “is committed to building 150 houses in the Lower Ninth Ward” in New Orleans; Malaria No More; Save the Children, which “focus[es] on underserved rural areas, where one in five children lives in poverty”; and the Children’s Health Fund.