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Fox Plans For ‘Idol’ Lead-Outs

Almost as important to Fox as the ratings performance of American Idol, are the performance of the shows the network programs to air out of it.

Fox announced today plans to use the reality show to help the debut of the new David E. Kellye drama The Wedding Bells as well as its struggling sitcom ‘Til Death, and perhaps even a few other shows yet to be launched.

Before moving into its Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. timeslot, The Wedding Bells will premiere March 7, after a Wednesday edition of American Idol.

‘Til Death will also be sampled out American Idol, moving to Wednesday’s at 9:30 p.m.

“We plan on using ‘Idol’ to give ‘Til Death’ a second wind, it’s been in a really tough time period,” said Preston Beckman, executive VP for strategic program planning at Fox. “We also will have a few Thursday night ‘Idol’ results shows. We’re hoping to use those three results shows to get sampling for the new shows, one of which will be ‘Wedding Bells.’ You can’t buy the kind of eyeballs you get with an ‘Idol’ lead in.”

American Idol bowed very impressively this past Tuesday and Wednesday, delivering an audience of 37.34M (15.7/36 A18-49 rating) its first night and 36.87M (15.4/36 A18-49 rating) its second night.

The season six premiere week was up 10% (viewers and adults 18-49) over last season’s first week.