Mondays to be a sci-fi TV smackdown: Fringe vs. Heroes

Talk about an evil plot! No sooner had NBC come out with its midseason schedule, which positions Chuck and Heroes to return in early January before the competition gets too heavy, than Fox made a Machiavellian move, according to Broadcasting & Cable. The network is bringing in a brand-new House and Fringe to do Monday TV battle in an attempt to destroy NBC's struggling little shows. Those bastards!

Could Chuck's new evil organization the Ring be behind the devious plot to take over Mondays? Or maybe Heroes' Sylar? Or perhaps this is part of Fringe's pattern?

NBC's schedule has Heroes premiering two new episodes of the series on Monday, Jan. 4, beginning at 8 p.m. And on Sunday, Jan. 10, Chuck premieres its third season with back-to-back episodes. Then on Monday, Jan. 11, Chuck and Heroes have their regular timeslot premieres at 8 and 9 p.m., which would have given them a bit of time before facing crushing competition.

But Fox has thrown down the gauntlet and slated original installments of House and Fringe for Jan. 11. That's an obvious slap in the face for NBC's programming. While Fringe was scheduled to return with originals on Thursday, Jan. 14, House wasn't scheduled to return until Monday, Jan. 25.

The Fringe episode is an unaired episode from season one called "Unearthed" that has the deceased Charlie in it, according to No word which episode of House will air. This move by Fox does hint that the network is trying to build viewers for Fringe (while screwing the competition).

24 is still scheduled to premiere in the Monday 9 p.m. timeslot (opposite Heroes) on Jan. 18, while Fringe will head off the air for seven weeks starting in February to make way for the new reincarnation series, Past Life. Fringe will then return with new episodes on April 1.

This isn't the only change to Fox's midseason schedule. They just announced that American Idol and Human Target will be flipping slots on Wednesdays as well, with Target moving up to the 8 p.m. slot on Jan. 27, the week after it premieres. Additional tweaks have also been reported.

Who do you think's gonna win in the battles? Chuck or House? Fringe or Heroes? NBC or Fox?

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