Keith Urban has been getting his hands dirty recently, searching for the the nation’s foremost raw talent (and extinguishing diva flame wars between his fellow celebrity judges), and it’s about time for fans to tune in on the action. So, when does ‘American Idol’ Season 12 start?

FOX is set to premiere its reality cash cow with a two-hour special on Jan. 16 and a one-hour follow-up episode scheduled on Jan. 17. The newly-announced ‘American Idol’ schedule is aligned with many of the show’s past seasons, which debut early in the calender year and wrap with a season finale mid-May.

Despite rumors that the ‘For You’ singer planned to ditch his judge’s chair following a feud between fellow judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, Urban is quick to acknowledge his allegiance to finding quality talent for highly-anticipated new season.

“I love it,” Urban says of his new high-profile gig. “I gotta say, I love working with passionate people. I love artists, and I like everyone just sort of expressing themselves. It’s a very alive, very invigorating work environment.”

Tune in to FOX on Jan. 16 to catch the chaos and the new crop of singing hopefuls for Season 12 of ‘American Idol.’

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