Fox will not let the November sweep pass without another encore from the "American Idol" gang. The network has scheduled the one-hour holiday special "American Idol: Christmas Songs" at 8 p.m. on Nov.

Fox will not let the November sweep pass without another encore from the "American Idol" gang. The network has scheduled the one-hour holiday special "American Idol: Christmas Songs" at 8 p.m. on Nov. 25, the next-to-last night of the sweep season. The special is tied to the CD "American Idol -- The Great Holiday Classics," due in stores tomorrow (Oct. 14).

Airing two days before Thanksgiving, the TV special will feature past "Idol" winners Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard, along with runners-up Justin Guarini and Clay Aiken and other former contestants, singing carols and other holiday favorites. However, none of the show's popular judges -- Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson -- is expected to appear, nor is host Ryan Seacrest.

The show gives Fox another chance to recapture some of the ratings glory of "Idol," whose face-off between Studdard and Aiken capped the network's No. 1 finish in the 18-49 demographic for the May sweep.

But the "Idol" crew will face stiff musical competition that night, with NBC expected to pre-empt its regular programming for specials starring Shania Twain and Justin Timberlake. Ratings during the February, May and November sweep period are used to set advertising rates for the coming months.

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