No longer the ratings juggernaut it was in its heyday, "American Idol" will be downsized and eat up less of the Fox schedule, according to network chairman Kevin Reilly.

In a conference call with reporters, Reilly said "Idol" will be "more streamlined" when it returns for a new season next January, and will have a different format.

"There will be less hours, around 37 hours," he said. "I think it will be a two-night format initially during the audition phase, and will quite likely end up as a two-hour show on one night for most of its run."

"Idol" regularly has been airing 50-plus hours, Reilly said.

Once an unbeatable force, "Idol" fell to series-low ratings this season, averaging 12.3 million viewers and a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 for its Wednesday-night episodes -- including DVR playback. Host Ryan Seacrest has already signed on for another season, while current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. are "likely" to be back, Reilly said.

On another front, it was recently announced that San Francisco will once again be among the "American Idol" audition cities. The show will hold tryouts Sept. 29 at the Cow Palace. That's a significant downsize from AT&T Park, where "Idol" held auditions last year.

Other "Idol" audition cities include Minneapolis (June 18), New Orleans (June 25), Long Island (July 23) and Nashville (July 30).


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