For years, viewers became accustomed to Paula Abdul arriving on the small screen in January. CBS is hoping that learned behavior carries over and makes "Live to Dance" into an early 2011 hit.
 
CBS announced on Thursday (Oct. 28) that "Live to Dance" will launch on January 4 with a two-hour premiere. The dancing competition series will move into its regular 8 p.m. Wednesday time period starting on January 5, with live episodes beginning the following Wednesday.
 
"But wait..." you're probably saying, "Does that mean that CBS is moving this fragile new series directly into the path of 'American Idol'?"
 
The answer to that question appears to be, "Yes."
 
FOX has yet to announce a premiere date for the 10th season of "Idol," but it's a safe bet that the powerful talent show will either return the week of January 3 or, far more likely, the week of January 10. While the regular Wednesday "Idol" results shows are scheduled only for a half-hour, fans know that it takes a long time before "regular" results shows begin, meaning that Wednesday 8 p.m. hour should be full of audition episodes and, depending on the format, Top 24 performances.
 
"Live to Dance" will begin with a two-hour audition episode, as contestants from around the country performed for executive producer, expert and mentor Abdul and her panel of fellow experts. Apparently special Dance Domes were constructed in New York and Los Angeles just for the occasion. 
 
The January 5 episode will feature a group of dancers from the Dance Dome auditions doing a dance-off to win a space in the cast and round out the Top 18. Beginning the following week, six acts will perform each episode, with two advancing to compete in the finale, where the winner will receive a $500,000 prize.
 
CBS previously announced that Andrew Günsberg will host the series and that Travis Payne and Kimberly Wyatt will join Abdul on the expert panel.

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