American Idol Return, Empire Series Debut Date Set at Fox

American Idol Season 14 Premiere Date

The search for the next American Idol starts… (insert dramatic Ryan Secrest pause here) on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015.

Fox will kick off the reality singing competition’s Season 14 premiere that night with a one-hour episode at 8/7c, then wrap it up with a two-hour installment on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 8 pm.

During the opening eps, Idol‘s three returning judges — Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. — will hit auditions in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco. [The New York episodes will feature guest judge Adam Lambert, subbing for an absent Urban.]

Keeping with a theme, the network also will premiere its new music-industry drama Empire on Jan. 7 at 9/8c. The series, starring Terrence Howard (Law & Order: L.A.) and Taraji P. Henson (Person of Interest), follows a family vying for control of a hip-hop empire and features a soundtrack by Timbaland.

Psyched for Idol‘s return? Can’t wait to see and hear Empire? Tell us about it in the comments!