Fox Reality Channel has announced American Idol Extra, the American Idol companion series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the Fox mega-hit, will return for its third season on Thursday, March 13 at 7PM ET/PT.

Fox Reality Channel will broadcast new episodes of American Idol Extra every Thursday at 7PM ET/PT throughout Idol's seventh-season finals.  In addition, encore performances of American Idol Extra will air on Fox Reality Channel every Thursday at 10PM ET/PT as well as "throughout the week and weekend."

Hosted by JD Roberto, each American Idol Extra episode will interview that week's eliminated Idol 7 finalist and their family members and friends; take a look back at their journey on the show; allow viewers to see "heart-racing drama and emotional moments immediately following the elimination of each of the Top 12 contestants;" and also feature "an inside look at the remarkable production team behind the excitement and tension of every American Idol episode."

"We are thrilled to be bringing back American Idol Extra, the only destination for viewers to catch the most exclusive and exciting elements of American Idol," said Fox Reality Channel president David Lyle.  "Fox Reality Channel is dedicated to continuously giving our viewers more reality, and American Idol Extra reinforces that promise.  This is a great opportunity for fans to get an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into the world’s most popular reality series."

Idol 7's Top 12 finalists will perform for the first time on Tuesday, March 11 at 8Pm ET/PT, with home-viewer voting results booting the first finalist the following night at 9PM ET/PT during a live broadcast.

American Idol Extra first premiered on Fox Reality Channel during Idol's Spring 2006 fifth season on Fox.  The show is produced by Idol producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia, and is not-to-be-confused with TV Guide Channel's American Idol Rewind companion series.