CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX is looking to give its ratings-challenged comedy "Arrested Development" an extra boost, as the network announced today it has scheduled a new installment of the series for Wednesday, March 17 at 9:30/8:30c following an expanded one-hour "American Idol" results show.
The news marks the sixth time the network has used "American Idol" to highlight one of its series this season. FOX used the third season premiere of "Idol" on Monday, January 19 to kick off "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," a one-hour "Idol" on Wednesday, February 4 to launch the second season of "Oliver Beene" and plans to do so again next Tuesday for "Forever Eden" and on Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10 for the two-night debut of the midseason comedy "Cracking Up."
The episode of "Arrested," entitled "Alter Egos," features guest appearances by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Henry Winkler, James Lipton and Amy Phoeler. Here's how FOX describes the installment (via press release):
Michael meets a blind attorney, Maggie, with whom he ends up having a one-night stand. But when he discovers that Maggie is the prosecutor assigned to his father's case, he must decide if he should do the right thing and tell her the truth, or use this opportunity to learn details about the case to save his father. Unfortunately, Michael and the rest of the family don't necessarily see eye-to-eye on this one. Meanwhile, Gob gets married to a chick on a dare and George Sr. discovers an undercover SEC agent has fallen for him on the "Altar Egos" episode of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT Wednesday, March 17 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
And in other FOX news:
-- Jason Priestley's first appearance as Jack, a new morgue attendant, on "Tru Calling" has been scheduled for Thursday, March 25 at 8:00/7:00c. The episode, "Daddy's Girl," also features an appearance by Laura Leighton as Jordan, the new wife of Tru's father.
-- Jack Black ("School of Rock") will make a guest appearance on "Cracking Up's" regular time period premiere on Monday, March 15 at 8:30/7:30c. He'll play a hard-nosed substance abuse counselor hired by Lesley (Molly Shannon) and Ted (Chris McDonald) to scare their kids out of trying drugs. Also note that FOX will only air one episode of "Cracking Up" on March 15 despite previously scheduling two original installments (read the story) for the night. A repeat of "That '70s Show" will instead air at 8:00/7:00c as a lead-in to show's time slot premiere.
-- Lastly, in a move that will undoubtedly surprise no one, FOX plans to broadcast its midseason drama "Wonderfalls" out of production order. The show's 11th produced installment ("Karma Chameleon") is currently scheduled to air as the series' second episode on Friday, March 19 at 9:00/8:00c. Executive producer Tim Minear however has confirmed said installment was always planned to air second, so viewers shouldn't fear a "Firefly"-esque scenario in which plot developments occur out of their intended order.
This article was updated with additional information on Saturday, February 28.