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[11/17/04 - 12:00 AM]
The No. 1 Show of Last Season Is Back and Better Than Ever!

[via press release from FOX]

THE NO. 1 SHOW OF LAST SEASON IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!

A BRAND-NEW SEASON OF "AMERICAN IDOL" WITH NEW CONTESTANTS, NEW AUDITIONS AND AMERICA'S FAVORITE JUDGES BEGINS JANUARY 18 AND 19 ON FOX Tune in for Auditions of the Best and Worst Singers From Across the Country

The wait is almost over. AMERICAN IDOL, the No. 1 show of last season, has set the stage to return in January.

Last season, approximately 65 million votes were cast in the finale, naming Fantasia the third AMERICAN IDOL, joining previous winners Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard. Since then America has been anxiously waiting for the return of the biggest show of the year, and the time is almost here! AMERICAN IDOL is back for its fourth season and another quest to discover America's most talented singer. An all-new season with new contestants and the best and worst of auditions from around the nation begins with a special two-hour season premiere episode Tuesday, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and a special one-hour episode Wednesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

This past summer, AMERICAN IDOL traveled to seven cities across the country, looking for the next singing superstar. Episodes featuring the audition cities of Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Orlando, Las Vegas and San Francisco will air on three consecutive Tuesdays, Jan. 18 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Feb. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), and three Wednesdays, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Jan. 26 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Feb. 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Those who survived the AMERICAN IDOL judges in the audition cities will be highlighted in the semifinal round, which will air on Tuesdays, Feb. 8 and 15 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Wednesdays, Feb. 9 and 16 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Then, tune in to the first performance show of the new season on Tuesday, Feb. 22 (8:30-10:00 PM ET/PT).

Host Ryan Seacrest and America's favorite judges, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, all return to lend their professional expertise, personal comments and often-unwanted criticism to this season's crop of aspiring singers. Some will get the judges' approval and others will learn the hard truth! Tune in to see who survives and who goes home!

Eight-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, 19 Television; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Chief Operating Officer, Production, FremantleMedia North America Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick of FremantleMedia.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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