LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX is sending "Malcolm in the Middle" back to Sundays beginning January 29, where it will take over the 7:00/6:00c slot.
The news, announced via scheduling updates by the network this morning, means tonight's installment ("Bride of Ida") will be the show's last airing in the Friday, 8:30/7:30c half-hour. Repeats of "The Bernie Mac Show" will fill the slot beginning next week.
No official reason was given for the decision. To review, here's a breakdown of the affected dates:
Friday, January 13
8:00/7:00c - "The Bernie Mac Show: Exercise in Fertility, Part 1"
8:30/7:30c - "Malcolm in the Middle: Bride of Ida (Part 1)"
9:00/8:00c - "Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy: Burgess/Dexter, Part 2 of 2"
Friday, January 20
8:00/7:00c - "The Bernie Mac Show: Exercise in Fertility, Part 2"
8:30/7:30c - "The Bernie Mac Show: Father Knows Best" (Repeat)
9:00/8:00c - "Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy: Wilson/White"
Friday, January 27
8:00/7:00c - "The Bernie Mac Show: Fantasy Football"
8:30/7:30c - "The Bernie Mac Show: Wrestling with a Sticky Situation" (Repeat)
9:00/8:00c - "Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy: Clark/Crowe, Part 1 of 2"
Sunday, January 29
7:00/6:00c - "Malcolm in the Middle: College Recruiters (Part 2)"
7:30/6:30c - "King of the Hill: You Gotta Believe (In Moderation)"
8:00/7:00c - "The Simpsons: We're On the Road to D'ohwhere"
8:30/7:30c - "The War at Home: Gimme A Break (Part 2 of 2)"
9:00/8:00c - "Family Guy: Patriot Games"
9:30/8:30c - "American Dad: Finances With Wolves"
FOX's regular Sunday lineup will be pre-empted on January 15 for NFL coverage and "24's" two-hour season premiere, on January 22 for the NFC Championship and on February 5 for a "The Simpsons"/"Family Guy" marathon (to avoid putting first-run programming against ABC's Super Bowl XL broadcast).
As for "Malcolm," the veteran comedy has floundered in its new Friday home this season, where it's averaged less than 3.5 million viewers each week. Overall, "Malcolm" ranks as FOX's least-watched program currently on the air.