In the wake of poor ratings for its airing of the World Series, the Fox network is desperately awaiting the return of "American Idol" to its U.S. lineup.

With the MLB playoffs drawing very disappointing ratings for Fox and with its fall lineup drawing equally unimpressive numbers, the network is again penning its season hopes on its popular reality series, said Daily Variety.

The situation mirrors the position that Fox found itself in this time last year and it was only "American Idol" episodes that eventually lifted the TV network from fourth to second overall come season's end.

While Fox execs are comfortable with the knowledge that both "Idol" and fellow Fox powerhouse "24" will likely bring increased ratings in early 2007, Daily Variety reported, Fox Entertainment head Peter Liguori is avoiding making excuses for the network's poor performance.

"We want to have better fourth quarters," admitted Liguori. "Our cycle is different than other networks. It's challenging. But we have to do better and we're striving to do better."