Fox Announces ‘American Idol’ Start Date, Plus Kevin Bacon’s ‘Following’

by | October 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM | American Idol

'American Idol' Season 12 Judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban (Photo: Fox)

Now that Fall TV is in full swing, viewers can start looking ahead at what’s next…and Fox is up first with its midseason premiere dates announcement, revealing Wednesday when its winter programming will debut.

The twelfth season of “American Idol” — otherwise known as the diva-off between new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj (with Keith Urban thrown in as the hunky buffer) — will return with a two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 16, followed by a one-hour episode on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Since the first round of catfights between Mariah and Minaj hit more of a sour note than the juicy allure they were surely going for — amid rampant claims of feud fakery that scream producer desperation — we’ll reserve judgment on the new judges panel until we actually see the new kids in action.

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But the new Fox show we definitely will be following is the serial killer thriller “The Following,” which will debut on Monday, Jan. 21 at 9/8c. The dark drama stars Kevin Bacon as a retired FBI agent pulled back into the sordid scene for the high-profile case of a serial killer (James Purefoy) with a seriously twisted cult following.

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Following suit in February will be the return of Kiefer Sutherland for Season 2 of “Touch,” which premieres Friday, Feb. 1 at 9/8c. “Touch” will fill the time slot currently occupied by “Fringe,” once the cult sci-fi series signs off for good with its series finale in January.

TV’s New Chilling Thriller: Watch the Trailer for “The Following” Now: