'American Idol,' 'Human Target' swap timeslots

human-target-idol-320.jpgFOX has decided against keeping "American Idol" in the 8 o'clock timeslot on Wednesdays this season, which means "Human Target" is getting a new home too.

The network had originally planned to air Wednesday's "Idol" at 8 p.m. ET, followed by "Human Target" at 9, which would presumably feed a big audience into the new action series starring Mark Valley. Now, though, FOX has decided to flip the two shows -- but not before "Human Target" gets one post-"Idol" airing, the network confirms to Zap2it.

"Target" is still set to debut at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, following FOX's NFL playoff coverage (which will provide another big lead-in). It will then follow an "American Idol" audition show at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, before moving to 8 p.m. Wednesdays starting Jan. 27.

The move from 9 to 8 p.m. will deprive "Human Target" of the "Idol" feeder audience, but it also puts the show in a less competitive timeslot. None of the other networks' shows in that time period -- ABC's "The Middle," CBS' "Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried," NBC's "Mercy" and The CW's "America's Next Top Model" -- averages more than 8 million viewers per week. The competition is somewhat stiffer at 9 with "Criminal Minds" (15.2 million), "Modern Family" (10.2 million) and "Law & Order: SVU" (9.5 million).

Airing the "Idol" results show at 9 on Wednesday -- its home for the last couple of seasons -- virtually guarantees that FOX will win the hour and will likely put a dent in the other shows' ratings as well.

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Photo credits: FOX