No mere ‘Idol’ threat

Fox Jan. sked includes return of 'Simple Life'

As Fox execs count the days until “American Idol” returns, the net has unveiled the rest of its January sked.

Skeins joining the schedule include “The Simple Life 3: Interns,” which airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., starting Jan. 26, as well as new dramas “Point Pleasant” (Thursdays at 9, starting Jan. 20) and “Jonny Zero” (Fridays at 9, beginning Jan. 14).

Sked also makes room for the return of “24” (Mondays at 9 p.m., starting Jan. 10) and “Bernie Mac,” which moves to Fridays at 8 p.m. (with a repeat at 8:30) starting Jan. 14.

“Bernie Mac” was put on hiatus this fall after the star was sent home to recover from exhaustion and pneumonia. Mac returned to work last week.

Then there’s “American Idol,” which, as previously announced, returns to its Tuesday 8 p.m. slot on Jan. 18. Show will also air Wednesdays at 9 with one-hour editions through at least February (beginning Jan. 19).

Beyond those changes, Fox’s sked remains mostly the same: “Trading Spouses” continues Mondays at 8 p.m., with “24” coming in at 9 p.m. a week after the Jan. 3 finale of “The Swan.”

On Tuesdays, “The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best” airs its two-hour finale on Jan. 11, making room for “Idol” the following week; “House” continues in its 9 p.m. slot.

Wednesdays, meanwhile, continue with “That ’70s Show” at 8 p.m., while “Simple Life 3” will fill the 8:30 void left by “Quintuplets,” which winds up its season Jan. 12.

“The OC” remains at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, while “Point Pleasant” takes over the slot vacated by “North Shore,” which finishes on Jan. 13.

“Bernie Mac” and “Jonny Zero” replace stunts on Friday, while Saturday remains the same.

Fox’s Sunday night sked will also remain the same until the end of January, when “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” ends its run.

Still on the bench: laffer “Life on a Stick,” which will now bow in March, as well as Kelsey Grammer’s “Sketch Show” and drama “The Inside,” both of which haven’t yet received an airdate.

In other scheduling news, CBS will bow new drama “Numb3rs” on Fridays at 10 p.m. (in the empty slot vacated by “Dr. Vegas”) starting Jan. 21.

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