Fox sweet on ‘Temptation’ Thurs.

Eight episodes to air until baseball playoffs

Fox will launch “Temptation Island 3” in the same timeslot the last installment of the reality skein occupied: Thursdays at 9 p.m.

“T3” — suggested subtitle: “Rise of the Thongs” — is set to bow Aug. 28, with an eight-episode run that will last until baseball playoffs take control of the net’s schedule in October. Fox plans to air some two-hour episodes or double-pump the skein to fit the eight segs into a tighter time frame.

While the first “Temptation Island” was a huge hit, the second installment sputtered a bit — in part because of the fallout from 9/11 but also because of tough competition on Thursdays. As a result, many industry observers had expected Fox to sked “T3” anywhere but Thursdays.

Little choice

But with “Paradise Hotel” starting to heat up on Mondays and Wednesdays and “The OC” taking over Tuesdays this week, Fox found itself with no other legit 9 p.m. timeslots but Thursday (though holding the skein for midseason was an option). What’s more, even while “T2’s” Nielsen numbers were a disappointment compared with those of the first skein, Fox still saw double-digit ratings gains on the night as a result of “T2.”

Third installment of the “Temptation Island” series is expected to put a few twists on the fidelity format, which puts relationships to the test by allowing men and women to swap mates. Skein is a production of Rocket Science Laboratories.