Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Zuleikha Robinson by Julie Dennis-Brothers/Fox Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Zuleikha Robinson by Julie Dennis-Brothers/Fox

It's become a pattern every year that after Fox announces its new fall schedule, one of its new shows disappears as if it's gone into the Witness Protection Program. So you've got to wonder if we're ever going to see New Amsterdam, the drama that stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a 400-year-old NYPD detective. Last week the network bumped it to midseason, turning its Tuesday at 8 pm time slot over to Bones instead.

Despite a tepid reception for New Amsterdam at the recent Television Critics Association press tour, a Fox insider insisted the show would turn up in 2008 when it could be launched with an American Idol lead-in. The thinking is why take a risk with a new show when the network - which has been a perennially slow starter in the fourth quarter - has its first shot in years to be competitive in the ratings this fall.

What will make this fall different? Fox doesn't have the typically low-rated first round coverage of Major League Baseball's post-season baseball (which has been moved to cable). And its singing summer game show Don't Forget the Lyrics has performed well enough to stay on in the fall, and paired with Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, it will be a good alternative to the scripted fare on the other networks on Thursday night at 9 pm.

The scheduling swap also helps protect Bones, which would have to compete against four other broadcast network dramas, like ABC's Private Practice, which is sure to get strong sampling early on. Instead, Gordon Ramsay's reality show Kitchen Nightmares will get the Wednesday 9 pm slot.

The plan to reintroduce New Amsterdam in a post- Idol time slot has some merit: Fox's track record of launching shows after Idol has been decent lately. Fifth Grader opened well and has shown some staying power. 'Til Death gained enough of a pulse to stick around for another season. And House was at death's door until it got an Idol audience transfusion in 2005. - Reporting by Stephen Battaglio