American Idol premieres on Fox

By Jim Hagerty

Staff Writer

The biggest show on television, American Idol, makes its return Tuesday, Jan. 12 (7 to 9 p.m.) and Wednesday, Jan. 13 (7 to 8:15 p.m.). The two-night special kicks off the ninth season on Fox.

Comedian and talk-show host Ellen Degeneres will join creator Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the judges’ panel. She replaces Paula Abdul.

Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, American Idol premiered June 11, 2002, and has been the No. 1 show for five consecutive years, according to Nielsen Ratings. The series is a spin-off of Cowell’s Pop Idol, which aired in the United Kingdom from 2001 to 2004.

Past American Idol winners include Kelly Clarkson, Rueben Studdard and country sensation Carrie Underwood.

Auditions, taped earlier this year, were judged by a host of singers including Mary J. Blige, Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain.

From the Jan. 6-12, 2010 issue

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