So as it turns out, "American Idol" will be airing on Thursdays after all -- at least for a little while.
FOX has unveiled its full schedule for the fifth season of the talent competition, which will adhere to the format it adopted last year: After the auditions and the Hollywood training camp, the 24 semifinalists will split along gender lines, with the male and female singers performing separately each week until only six of each remain.
It's during that round that the show will make its way onto Thursdays. Starting Tuesday, Feb. 21, the semifinalists will sing in performance episodes on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the results of fan voting revealed in hour-long shows on Thursday.
Before FOX released its midseason schedule, there was widespread speculation that the "Idol" results show would move to Thursdays full-time. That didn't happen, as the network decided to keep the familiar Tuesday-Wednesday schedule for the bulk of the season, including the finals.
The Thursday results shows will run at 8 p.m. ET for three weeks, with the 12 finalists being revealed on March 9. FOX hasn't finalized its 9 p.m. schedule for those weeks, but if it sticks to its previously announced plan -- in which "That '70s Show" and "Stacked" fill that hour starting March 2 -- "The O.C." will likely get a couple of weeks off. That would allow the show to remain in original episodes for much of the rest of the season.
"American Idol" premieres Tuesday, Jan. 17. The audition and Hollywood rounds will air Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Feb. 15, when the semifinalists are announced. Following the three weekly semifinal rounds, the final 12 will perform on the same stage for the first time Tuesday, March 14.