ABC has announced that American Inventor, a new reality series created by Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol, will premiere Thursday, March 16 at 8PM ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere.

Previously announced as Million Dollar Idea and presumably changed to American Inventor for Idol-ous reasons, American Inventor is a nine-episode series that will search for America's best new invention.

After a nationwide search, nine inventors will receive $50,000 in "seed money" and compete for three spots in the show's live finale, where home viewers will decide which one of the inventors will receive $1,000,000 worth of business support, top-notch entrepreneurial counsel, physical resources, and cash.

First announced in July 2005, became the subject of a lawsuit a month later, with Minneapolis-based Roaring Entertainment charging that the ABC project infringed on another Million Dollar Idea reality project that they had already copyrighted and trademarked.

American Inventor will move to its regular Thursday 9PM ET/PT time period beginning March 23, after which ABC will attempt to keep its Dancing with the Stars-fueled Thursday night ratings strength going by plugging the 8PM ET/PT hour with a month's worth of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition specials.

Airing for four weeks, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -- After the Storm specials will follow the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team as they visit four of the Gulf Coast states that were hardest hit by last year's hurricane season. Along with some special guests, the Extreme team will visit Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Mississippi -- one state each week.

It's currently unclear what ABC plans to air in the Thursday 8PM time period once the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition specials end their four week run.