BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Fox will counter its onetime powerhouse “American Idol” with a new singing contest.

The network said it will launch a contest called “The Four” in 2018.

Fox canceled “American Idol” after its long run because of dwindling ratings and rising costs, only to see it snapped up by ABC for an early 2018 debut.

Fox executives told a TV critics’ meeting that “The Four” is a fresh take, one that’s less about star judges and more about the contestants.

The series begins with four finalists, who will be challenged throughout the contest by new singers trying to take their place.

The prize: The winner’s career will be guided by the industry experts who make up the judging panel.

A debut date and the panelists are to be announced

Letterman on Netflix

NEW YORK — David Letterman, who said goodbye to his long-running talk show two years ago, will say hello to TV again with a new show for Netflix.

Netflix announced that the six-episode series has Letterman combining two primary interests: in-depth conversations and in-the-field segments sparked by his curiosity and humor. In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a single guest and explore topics of his own outside the studio.

The series, not yet titled, is set to premiere in 2018.

In 33 years on late-night television, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of NBC’s “Late Night” and CBS’ “Late Show,” and is the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. He has won 10 Emmys and two Peabody awards. He stepped down from the “Late Show” in May 2015.

Letterman said he feels “excited and lucky to be working on this project for Netflix.” He added these words of wisdom: “If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.”

Halloween special

LOS ANGELES — The stop-action animated series “SuperMansion” is getting spooky this Halloween.

Streaming service Crackle said Monday that a new special, “SuperMansion: Drag Me to Halloween,” will debut Oct. 5. Lake Bell and Phil LaMarr will guest star.

Bell and LaMarr will add their voices to those of cast members including Bryan Cranston and Keegan-Michael Key.

The “SuperMansion” series tracks the exploits of Titanium Rex, voiced by Cranston, as he fights alongside younger and less motivated members of the League of Freedom.

Crackle says the Halloween special’s adventurous fun will include beautiful ghosts, demonic spirits and evil dentists.

Rudolph for Christmas

NEW YORK — The Fox network has cast Maya Rudolph to help lead the live TV musical “A Christmas Story” this winter.

The “Saturday Night Live” veteran and star of “Bridesmaids” will play the mother of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, the boy at the center of the musical who dreams of landing an air rifle for Christmas.

The show will air Dec. 17. More casting will be announced later.

The Broadway production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” opened in 2012 with a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, recent Tony Award winners for the musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” It was nominated for three Tony Awards, including best musical, best book and best original score.

The musical is based on the 1983 film, which was based on Jean Shepherd’s semiautobiographical story.

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