Paula Abdul’s TV comeback has a premiere date — and there’s a good chance she could find herself going head-to-head with her old pals on American Idol. CBS today will announce that the Abdul hosted and produced Live to Dance will have a two-hour premiere Tuesday, January 4 at 8 p.m. before moving into its regular 8 p.m. Wednesday time slot on January 5 (Survivor, which normally airs here, will be on its usual mid-season hiatus). Fox hasn’t yet said exactly when Idol will return — mid-January is the custom — but back in May, the network did announce it was planning to tweak the show’s air pattern: 90-minute episodes would air Tuesdays from 8 to 9:30 p.m., while a half-hour results show would run Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. Of course, if history is any guide, the early weeks of Idol will feature lots of expanded audition episodes on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. So unless Fox decides to mess around with its previously announced plans for Idol, a straight up smackdown with Dance seems unavoidable.
Meanwhile, CBS is revealing a little more information about the format for Dance. Week one will basically be pretaped audition episodes, with a total of eighteen dance teams being selected as finalists. The show then goes live January 12 for three weeks of semifinal rounds, in which two acts each week advance. By finale week in early February, the six remaining acts will compete for the grand prize of $500,000 and, we’re hoping, the right to dance with their choice either Abdul or MC Skat Kat.