‘American Idol’ back for new season on Jan. 12


NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox network says “American Idol” will return for its ninth year next month with a two-night season premiere featuring auditions in Boston and Atlanta.

The Boston auditions for the hit singing contest will air Jan. 12, and the Atlanta auditions will air Jan. 13. Auditions will also be held in Chicago; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas; Los Angeles and Denver.

One of this season’s changes: Paula Abdul is out as judge and Ellen DeGeneres is in. The network said Wednesday that DeGeneres will join the panel in February, after the regional auditions are held.

Twenty-four semifinalists will be announced Feb. 17, with voting to begin Feb. 23.