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Paula Abdul's dance show taking on 'American Idol' night in January

Those clever schedulers at CBS have decided to air Paula Abdul's new dance competition series on the same night as "American Idol."

"Live to Dance" will premiere with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, Jan. 4 and then move to its regular time period on Wednesday, Jan 5, airing from 8-9 p.m. Those initial broadcasts are all about the auditions, and the show goes goes live the following week - just like "Idol."

Abdul, who famously walked from "Idol" during contract talks after failing to secure the kind of stupid money Fox and that show's producers were willing to dole out to host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell, is billed as an executive producer on the show - one of six - as well as "mentor" and "lead expert."

CBS now airs "Survivor" on Wednesdays at 8 and the slotting of "Live to Dance" coincides with the six-week hiatus between "Survivor's" fall and spring editions. Abdul's show is also moving into Wednesday night a week sooner than Fox, lately, has launched its Wednesday "Idol" edition in January. This may give her some breathing room and, CBS hopes, some sampling by fans of :

a) competition reality series

b) "Idol" fans

c) Abdul fans

before "Idol" kicks in.

And, typically, "Idol's" Wednesday orgy-of-product-placement-and-results show airs at 9, not 8. But of course, the Fox has been known to move "Idol's" Wednesday show to 8, blow it up into a two-hour broadcast, and otherwise pretty much do whatever the heck it wants. And, it would be so Fox-like if, now that CBS has announced its Abdul plans, Fox made sure "Idol" crashed her party.

In which case, "Idol" is sure to cream Abdul in the ratings. But, had CBS scheduled "Live to Dance" anywhere else on its schedule, The Reporters Who Cover Television would be devoting two sentences to the announcement. Instead, today, they're all writing bigger stories about "Abdul vs Idol."

Which brings us back to "Those clever schedulers at CBS..."

By Lisa de Moraes  | October 28, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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