CTV Will Split 'American Idol' Telecasts to Retain 'Big Bang Theory'

The Canadian broadcaster to will air 'Idol' episodes on two of its networks to so that it can keep 'Big Bang Theory' in its plum Thursday night slot.

TORONTO -- Fox's American Idol battling CBS' The Big Bang Theory on Thursday night has offered little comfort for Canadian broadcaster CTV, which airs both popular series north of the border.

The solution for CTV will be to air Idol's performance episode Wednesdays starting Jan. 19 on its main network, and then on Jan. 20 shift Idol's Thursday results show to its secondary A network.

Sharing Idol will allow CTV network to retain Big Bang Theory on Thursday as a simulcast, after CBS shifted the sitcom from Monday nights last year to Thursdays this season, in the former Survivor slot at 8 p.m. The Big Bang shift to Thursday made the CBS sitcom the top-rated show during Canada's fall TV season among total viewers.

And that in turn made CBS' $#*! My Dad Says at 8:30 p.m. Thursday nights the top-rated new series this past TV season in Canada.

The sheer popularity of Big Bang Theory in Canada, however, forced CTV to split the performance and results episodes for Idol, a perennial performer for the Canadian broadcaster over nine seasons, and an American series that prompted the broadcaster to air for five seasons a local version, Canadian Idol.

CTV is also to air Live to Dance, hosted by ex-Idol judge Paula Abdul, at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on its secondary A network.