As the calendar turns to March, Fox is prepping its late spring and early-summer sked, which includes earlier-than-usual finishes to the season for “American Idol” and others. Instead of bunching its finales toward the end of the May sweep, Fox will now use May as a transitional month from in-season shows to its summer skeins.
The net announced Thursday that “American Idol,” which traditionally wraps on the final day of the TV season (a Wednesday), will instead finish six days earlier, on Thursday, May 16. Fox said it’s making the change so that it can keep “Idol,” which regularly airs on Wednesday and Thursday, on schedule rather than making it (and fans) pivot to a Tuesday-Wednesday sked for its final two nights.
The move also eliminates any potential conflict “Idol” might have with NBC’s own singing competition series, “The Voice,” which airs on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Elsewhere, Fox set finale dates for other series, with vet “Bones” and rookie “The Following” wrapping on April 29 (the first Monday of the May sweep) and Tuesday comedies “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” closing on May 7 (the second Tuesday of the sweep).
The finale for Thursday series “Glee” will take place May 9, and Friday skeins “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Touch” close for the season on April 5 and 26, respectively.
Sunday’s animated vets “The Cleveland Show,” “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” will wrap more traditionally, on the final Sunday of the TV season (May 19).
“Hell’s Kitchen,” which will air on Tuesdays this spring, adds special Monday episodes May 6 and May 13, and Fox will shift to a Monday comedy block on May 20, with repeats of its usual Tuesday half-hours sandwiching newbie “The Goodwin Games,” which slides into the 8:30 p.m. slot.
As for other returning shows, “So You Think You Can Dance” takes over Tuesdays starting May 14 with two-hour episodes, and “MasterChef” will air two-hour segs on Wednesdays, starting May 22.
New unscripted series “Does Someone Have To Go” will get a special preview Wednesday, May 15 after the performance-show finale of “American Idol” before shifting to Thursdays on May 23.
As previously announced, “Animation Domination High-Def,” Fox’s new alternative animated programming block, will premiere on Saturday, July 27 with a number of new quarter-hour animated series airing from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.