'Idol Gives Back' for the third time

Yearlong hiatus will end with April 21 special

"American Idol" is bringing back "Idol Gives Back."

After an yearlong hiatus, the charitable special will return for a third installment April 21, airing during the top-seven Wednesday results show.

"This is our opportunity to reach out and support the people of America and around the world who need our compassion and generosity to improve or even save their lives," "Idol" creator and 19 Entertainment CEO Simon Fuller said.

Next year's special will benefit returning charities Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More and Save the Children as well as the United Nations Foundation.

"In today's tough economic times, it's more important than ever -- but more difficult than ever -- to raise money to help those in need," Fox president of alternative Mike Darnell said. "With this season's 'Idol Gives Back,' we're focused on raising awareness about the challenges that so many children and families currently face and demonstrating how even small donations can make a difference and help save lives."

"Idol Gives Back" has raised more than $140 million thus far, which is being distributed by the Idol Gives Back Foundation.

In addition to the fundraising, the April 21 show also will feature that week's voting results and the elimination of a finalist.

"Idol," from 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America, will return for a ninth season in January with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and rookie Ellen DeGeneres.