'American Idol' Preps Christmas Special
FOX will broadcast a one-hour holiday special, "American Idol: Christmas Songs," on the night of Nov. 25, two days before Thanksgiving and only one day before the end of the fall ratings sweeps period, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The special is due to tie in with the just-released CD, "American Idol -- The Great Holiday Classics."
The special is scheduled to include appearances from past "Idol" champs Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard, as well as runners-up Justin Guarini and Clay Aiken. Other former contestants will carol along, too -- though don't expect to see judges Simon Cowell (aka "Scrooge"), Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, or host Ryan Seacrest.
As the Reporter notes, FOX is not only capitalizing on Christmas but on the hot ratings generated by the May face-off between Studdard and Aiken, which capped the network's No. 1 finish among the 18-49-year-old viewing audience.
On Nov. 25, however, Kelly, Ruben and company will face stiff competition from NBC with that network's own music specials --starring heavyweights Shania Twain and Justin Timberlake.
And in other "Idol" news, Clay Aiken's first CD, "Measure of a Man," hits stores Tuesday. As negatively assessed by New York Daily News music critic Jim Farber: "Not since the heyday of Styx's Dennis DeYoung has pop been tormented by such an adenoidal voice."