Typically, at this time of year, Fox would be promoting The X Factor at every opportunity. However, Fox’s singing competition series hasn’t been doing so well in the ratings, and in response, the network seems to be wanting to push the focus toward its midseason programming, which namely includes American Idol. Now, we have the first look at the brand new season of the singing competition series, which focuses on the new judging panel with a dash of Ryan Seacrest thrown in.

The new lineup features Keith Urban, a capable onscreen presence who also happens to be the only judge who is coming back after last year's fiasco of a season. Joining him will be singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who was popular during her stint on the show a few years ago, and who will be returning to judge this season. Finally, Harry Connick, Jr. is joining the panel for his first tenure on the reality show. Last season, Idol gave four judges a shot, but this time the series is ready to return to its judging roots with a panel of three. Since there are not two women on the panel, and those women are neither Mariah Carey nor Nicki Minaj, having three judges should mean less catty infighting this time around.

The preview takes fans behind the scenes of a few press events, where Lopez especially good at making faces for the cameras. The new group of judges seem to be getting along pretty well, and we’ll see if that continues when the live shows hit the schedule this winter. According to the promo, we’ll be able to find out when American Idol premieres on January 15 at 8 p.m. ET. During the winter, Fox also has premiere dates set for the return of The Following (January 20) and a new show starring Greg Kinnear called Rake (January 19). You can read more about Fox’s winter lineup, here.

American Idol is rapidly becoming a dinosaur in a landscape where singing competitions are not quite as popular as they once were. Typically, this would be the time where I would speak out in hopeful tones about how The X Factor is still at least a fresh, novel series for the network, but with budgets and the production value way down this season, I’m actually quite a bit more excited about American Idol's return than I normally would be. I’m finding myself actually even semi-excited about the prospect of the too-positive Lopez’s return. Who knows, maybe the show has even found a way to bring some new ideas to an old format, although I am not holding my breath on that note.

Since we’ve finally gotten the first trailer for Season 13, I expect some stills of the judges and more previews are just around the corner. Stay tuned in the coming weeks and we'll get those to you as they drop.

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