Fox Moves 'Rake' to Friday, 'American Idol' Gets 9 p.m. on Thursday
UPDATED: Beginning March 13, the low-rated freshman drama heads to the old "Bones" time slot, and the network uses the new season of "Hell's Kitchen" to launch its Thursday block.
After a few weeks of struggling ratings on Thursday nights, Fox is moving Rake to Fridays. The Greg Kinnear starrer moves to the 8 p.m. hour March 14, after Bones moves back to Monday.
American Idol gets Thursday's 9 p.m. hour in its stead, with Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen making an early return to the schedule March 13 and opening the night at 8 p.m. Midseason comedy Surviving Jack will still get a Thursday launchpad when Idol's results show goes down to a half-hour March 27.
The news for Rake is not exactly surprising. Soft to start, the series' most recent episode dipped to a 0.8 rating among adults under 50 and just 3.5 million viewers. American Idol also hasn't been having the best run at 8 p.m., with the latest episode clocking a 2.4 rating in the key demo.
Friday has worked for Fox dramas in the past. Bones enjoyed a steady run this season, though the network is choosing to move the stable drama back to Mondays, and genre fare Fringe enjoyed several soft-but-steady seasons during the night.
What this move almost definitely means for struggling freshman Enlisted, however, is a softer lead-in. Rake won't likely give the 9 p.m. comedy, or its neighbor Raising Hope, a particularly competitive audience.
The shuffle also means that Ramsay's other series, Kitchen Nightmares, will appear on the schedule at some point later this season.
This is not the first time Fox has played around with its schedule this season. In addition to the Bones shuffle, comedy The Mindy Project was put on a midseason hiatus to accommodate a New Girl lead-in for Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Glee is moving back to Tuesdays.