Friday home for 'Dollhouse'

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Fox has announced a dramatic shake-up to its midseason plans, establishing a Friday night sci-fi block and giving a new drama series an "American Idol" lead-in.

The network plans to air Joss Whedon's highly anticipated new series "Dollhouse" on Fridays at 9 p.m., teaming the show with "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," which will move from its current Monday time period to serve as a lead-in.

"Dollhouse" stars Eliza Dushku as an agent for a secret organization that imprints its operatives with skills and personalities. The drama was originally scheduled to air with "24" on Mondays in midseason but has been dogged with creative concerns. Instead, Mondays will feature "House" at 8 p.m. and "24" at 9 p.m.

"American Idol" and "Fringe" will still partner on Tuesdays as planned, but Wednesday will no longer pair "House" and the "Idol" results show. With "House" shifted to earlier in the week, "Idol" has been switched to 8 p.m. and will give TV's most powerful lead-in to new drama "Lie to Me," which stars Tim Roth as a "human lie detector."

Rather than a reality block of "Hell's Kitchen" and "Secret Millionaire" on Thursdays, Fox will air "Kitchen" at 9 p.m. with a lead-in from "Bones." Although the time period isn't as preferable as the crime drama's current Wednesday slot — where it has been performing strongly this fall and would have resulted in an "Idol" pairing — it's still a promotion from Fox's original plan to shift "Bones" to Fridays. "Millionaire" will air in December.

Sunday's ani lineup is unchanged, though the game show "Hole in the Wall," which some assumed would be canceled, will help launch things in the 7 p.m. hour.

Absent from the current schedule: Live-action comedy or new reality shows. Also, there are no dates yet for new animated titles like "The Cleveland Show."

"Dollhouse" and "Fringe" are part of Fox's Remote-Free TV plan, where advertisers pay a premium to sponsor a show in exchange for Fox running about half as many ads. Fox says that even though "Dollhouse" is on Fridays, it will run as Remote-Free TV.

Fox is the first network to announce its revised midseason lineup. (partialdiff)
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