'American Idol' Gets Early Return Date on ABC

Eliza Morse/ABC

The third season of American Idol on ABC will debut a little sooner than the previous two. 

The network's midseason premiere dates include a Feb. 16 premiere for Idol, a couple weeks earlier than the previous two seasons. The earlier date for the Oscars — Feb. 9 — allowed the network to move up Idol's debut from the early-March date for the prior two cycles. 

Also on tap for midseason are returnees The Bachelor (Jan. 6) and Station 19 (Jan. 23) and one new series, drama For Life. The latter, about a prison inmate (Nicholas Pinnock) who becomes a lawyer in an effort to overturn his wrongful conviction, will debut Tuesday, Feb. 11, filling the 10 p.m. time period after Emergence finishes its season. Game-show event Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time will debut Jan. 7 and run for at least three nights and up to seven, depending on the outcome of the games.

Grey's Anatomy spinoff Station 19 will move into the leadoff spot Thursdays, with Grey's and A Million Little Things each moving back an hour to 9 and 10 p.m. The final season of How to Get Away With Murder will take an extended hiatus before returning April 2 for its last episodes. 

The network has not yet set dates for the final season of Agents of SHIELD and a pair of new series, drama The Baker and the Beauty and comedy United We Fall.

ABC's midseason premiere dates are below. All times are ET/PT.

Monday, Jan. 6
8 p.m.: The Bachelor

Tuesday, Jan. 7
8 p.m.: Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time

Thursday, Jan. 23
8 p.m.: Station 19
9 p.m.: Grey's Anatomy (new time)
10 p.m.: A Million Little Things (new time)

Tuesday, Feb. 11
10 p.m.: For Life

Sunday, Feb. 16
8 p.m.: American Idol

Thursday, April 2
10 p.m.: How to Get Away With Murder