American Idol 9: Laying the Groundwork

It’s time for another season of American Idol.  Some will cheer, some will groan, and some will miss Paula Abdul’s befuddled meanderings… but they’re back in less than 2 weeks.

In a change of schedule necessitated by how long it took to get Ellen DeGeneres into the fold, Hollywood Week hasn’t been taped yet – that’s going to happen in January… so the annual search for dirt on the Top 24 (and it will be 24, not 36, this season) hasn’t started yet, either. 

Of course, the Big Story is that this may be Simon Cowell’s final season.  I suspect a negotiating ploy, myself…

Fox has released the AI9 preliminary schedule (subject to pre-emptions and production changes, of course)…

The party starts on January 12, and I’ll start seriously blogging when we get to the Top 24 in February.

Here’s the schedule (from Fox via MJ’s Big Blog):

  • Tuesday, 1/12/10 – Boston auditions (Victoria Beckham in the 4th judge chair), 8-10pm Eastern
  • Wednesday 1/13/10 – Atlanta (Mary J. Blige), 8-9:15pm (shrinking Our Little Genius’ premiere to 45 minutes)
  • Tuesday 1/19/10 – Chicago (Shania Twain), 8-9pm
  • Wednesday 1/20/10 – Orlando (Kristin Chenoweth), 8-9pm
  • Tuesday 1/26/10 – Dallas (Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris), 8-9pm
  • Wednesday 1/27/10 – Los Angeles (Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry), 9-10pm (permanent time change to move Human Target to the 8-9pm slot)
  • Tuesday 2/2/10 – Denver (Victoria Beckham), 8-9pm
  • Wednesday 2/3/10 – “Road to Hollywood” audition wrapup, 9-10pm
  • Tuesday 2/9/10 – Hollywood Week part 1, 8-9pm
  • Wednesday 2/10/10 – Hollywood Week part 2, 9-10pm
  • Tuesday 2/16/10 – Hollywood Week part 3, 8-9pm
  • Wednesday 2/17/10 – The Big Room With One Lonely Chair (Top 24 announced – 12 guys, 12 girls), 9-10pm
  • Tuesday 2/23/10 – *start blogging here* The competition starts.  This’ll be a real test of Idol’s popularity as it comes during the 2nd week of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
    For the first two Top 24 weeks, shows air Tuesdays 8-10pm (girls), Wednesdays 8-10pm (guys), Thursdays 8-9pm (results).  In the third week, the Tuesday and Wednesday shows return to their usual one-hour length (Tuesday at 8, Wednesday at 9).

The Top 12 (or so – Fox is calling it “The Finalists” instead of “The Top 12”) starts on Tuesday, March 16.  Shows will be Tuesdays at 8 (performance, 2 hours the first couple of weeks) and Wednesdays at 9 (results).

Idol Gives (Itself a Pat On The) Back is tentatively scheduled to return April 21 (where there should be 7 finalists left, and no eliminations that week).

Barring sudden changes, the 9th American Idol will be crowned on May 26.

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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