As always, it will be a busy spring on FOX.

 

On Thursday (Dec. 1), FOX announced a frantic Spring 2012 slate of premieres that includes two different Monday 9 p.m. dramas ("Alcatraz" and "Touch"), the triumphant returns of "Bob's Burgers" and "Breaking In," the debuts of "The Finder" and "Napoleon Dynamite," plus the usual Wednesday/Thursday "American Idol" domination.

 

With so many moving pieces, you'll be best-served just looking at the lengthy chart FOX released, but here are a few key highlights:

 

*** "American Idol" was originally slated to kick off its 11th season after the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 22. Instead, FOX has moved the "Idol" launch up, with a two-hour premiere on Wednesday, January 18 and an hour-long premiere on Thursday, January 19 (leading into the series launch of "The Finder"). "Idol" will still air that special episode post-football on the 22nd, though.

 

*** As was announced back in May, "Alcatraz" will air on Mondays at 9 p.m. The J.J. Abrams-produced drama will have a two-hour premiere on Monday, January 16 and a two-hour finale on Monday, March 12. On March 19, the new Kiefer Sutherland drama "Touch" will take the 9 p.m. slot after "House," though "Touch" will have already had a sneak preview of its pilot after "American Idol" on January 25.

 

*** "Napoleon Dynamite" will premiere on Sunday, January 15 and will air in the 8:30 slot after "The Simpsons" until "Bob's Burgers" returns on March 11. FOX will air encores of "Bob's Burgers" at 7:00 on Sundays starting on January 8.

 

*** "Fringe" will be back on Friday, January 13. Low ratings aside, Friday is the one night that FOX isn't touching.

 

*** FOX cancelled "Breaking In" and then resurrected "Breaking In" and now FOX has scheduled the second season of "Breaking In" for Tuesdays at 8:30 starting on March 6. FOX is showing its confidence in the Lazarus comedy by scheduling it after repeats of "New Girl."

 

*** Finally, after fans were up in arms two weeks ago when NBC released a midseason schedule without mentioning "Community" and ABC mentioned a midseason schedule without mentioning "Cougar Town," FOX's midseason schedule specifically mentions that although it doesn't have a premiere date, "Bones" will be back in the spring and that although it will depart for a while, "Glee" will also be back. Ditto with "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," which will continue its winter airings post-"X Factor," but will be back on Wednesdays in the spring when "Idol" performance episodes drop from two hours to 90 minutes.

 

 

Here's FOX's 2011-20122 Midseason Premieres Schedule:

 

MONDAY

Monday, Jan. 16:

8:00-10:00 PM            ALCATRAZ (Series Premiere)

 

Mondays, beginning Jan. 23:

8:00-9:00 PM              HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM            ALCATRAZ (Time Period Premiere)

 

Monday, March 12:

8:00-10:00 PM            ALCATRAZ (Two-Hour Episode)

 

Mondays, beginning March 19:

8:00-9:00 PM              HOUSE

9:00-10:00 PM            TOUCH (Series Premiere)

 

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TUESDAY

 

Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 17:

8:00-9:00 PM              GLEE

9:00-9:30 PM              NEW GIRL

9:30-10:00 PM            RAISING HOPE

 

Tuesdays, beginning March 6:

8:00-8:30 PM              NEW GIRL (encore)

8:30-9:00 PM              BREAKING IN (Season Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM              NEW GIRL

9:30-10:00 PM            RAISING HOPE

 

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WEDNESDAY

 

Wednesday, Jan. 4:

8:00-9:00 PM              GLEE (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM            MOBBED

 

Wednesday, Jan. 11:

8:00-9:00 PM              MOBBED (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM            MOBBED

 

Wednesday, Jan. 18:

8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part One)

 

Wednesday, Jan. 25:

8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL

9:00-10:00 PM            TOUCH (Special Preview)

 

Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 1:

8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL

9:00-10:00 PM            MOBBED

 

Wednesdays, beginning Feb. 15:

8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL (Two-Hour Episodes)

 

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THURSDAY

Thursday, Jan. 12:

8:00-9:00 PM              BONES (encore)

9:00-10:00 PM            THE FINDER (Series Premiere)

 

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 19:

8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part Two)

9:00-10:00 PM            THE FINDER

 

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FRIDAY

Friday, Jan. 6:

8:00 PM-CC ET          FOX SPORTS SPECIAL: 2012 AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC (Live)

 

Fridays, beginning Jan. 13:

8:00-9:00 PM              KITCHEN NIGHTMARES

9:00-10:00 PM            FRINGE

 

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SATURDAY

Saturdays, beginning Jan. 7: 

8:00-8:30 PM              COPS

8:30-9:00 PM              COPS

9:00-10:00 PM            DRAMA ENCORES

11:00 PM-Midnight     ENCORES

Midnight-12:30 AM     ENCORES

 

Saturday, Feb. 11:

8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICA’S MOST WANTED SPECIAL EDITION

11:00 PM-Midnight     ENCORES

Midnight-12:30 AM     ENCORES

 

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SUNDAY

 

Sunday, Jan. 8:

7:00-7:30 PM              BOB’S BURGERS (encore)

7:30-8:00 PM              THE CLEVELAND SHOW (encore)

8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM              THE CLEVELAND SHOW

9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM            AMERICAN DAD

 

Sunday, Jan. 15:

8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM              NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Series Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM            NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Special Time)

 

Sunday, Jan. 22:

6:00 PM-CC ET          FOX SPORTS SPECIAL: NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (Live)

10:00 PM ET/              AMERICAN IDOL (Special Broadcast; Approximate Start Time)

 

Sundays, beginning Jan. 29:

7:00-7:30 PM              BOB’S BURGERS (encore)

7:30-8:00 PM              THE CLEVELAND SHOW

8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM              NAPOLEON DYNAMITE

9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM            AMERICAN DAD

 

Sundays, beginning March 11:

7:00-7:30 PM              ANIMATION DOMINATION ENCORES

7:30-8:00 PM              THE CLEVELAND SHOW

8:00-8:30 PM              THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM              BOB’S BURGERS (Season Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM              FAMILY GUY

9:30-10:00 PM            AMERICAN DAD