May 12 Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's
schedule for the upcoming television season will feature a
high-profile show on Batman called "Gotham," while the company
will reduce the air time for the struggling singing contest
program "American Idol."
"Gotham," which stars Jada Pinkett Smith, follows a
policeman in the world of Batman and charts the origins of the
DC Comics superhero.
The 13-year-old "American Idol," which has been dragging
down Fox's ratings, will start the season at two nights a week
during the auditions phase, but "it's quite likely it'll end up
being a two-hour show on one night through most of its run,"
said Fox Broadcasting' Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly on a
Monday conference call about the new line-up.
The move will cut down the Idol's hours to 37 from roughly
50 hours for the season.
Shares of Fox were up 3.5 percent at $35.35 in morning
trading on news that the company could consolidate its stakes in
European pay-TV companies.
Fox, along with its broadcast rivals, plans to announce its
new shows to advertisers in an annual spring presentation known
as the upfronts, which start for the networks on Monday.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)