LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX will give "Fringe" a break when its midseason schedule rolls out next year, sources have confirmed to the site exclusively.
While exact dates are still being finalized, the seven week hiatus is expected to begin on February 11. In its place, FOX plans to launch the midseason drama "Past Life."
It's believed the newcomer will bow with back-to-back episodes on February 11 while the remaining installments will fill the Thursday, 9:00/8:00c hour for five of the next six weeks. (A Thursday edition of "American Idol" will bump the series the other week.)
"Fringe" would then return on April 1 with the remaining seven episodes of its second season. It's understood the hiatus is designed to ensure the series will run repeat free in 2010.
As for "Past Life," FOX announced at its upfront back in May the series would follow "American Idol" on Tuesday nights. The network subsequently rolled back the show's 13-episode commitment to seven episodes, making the shift to Thursdays not much of a surprise. It's not clear what will be paired with "Idol" on Tuesdays however it most likely won't be scripted programming.
The news comes as FOX gets ready to announce its midseason schedule. Originally pegged to be announced this week, it now appears the network will hold off until after the Thanksgiving holiday.