'American Idol' Format to Get Facelift This Season

FOX's popular "American Idol" will see some format changes in the coming season, according to a company memo that was reportedly leaked to a fan's online site.

The alleged memo revealed that the show's producers plan to reduce the number of audition episodes but up the number of selected contestants to 36 from the previous 24, reported a separate site, Contactmusic.com.

A wild-card round will allow eliminated contestants a chance to make it back into the top 12 finalists.

Among other changes: Songwriter Kara DioGuardi is set become a fourth judge along with current judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, and the "Idol Gives Back" charity telethon has been canceled, according to Contactmusic.com.

The star-studded "Idol Gives Back" special has aired for two years, soliciting donations to benefit impoverished children in the United States and Africa. Last April's broadcast raised more than $64 million and boasted a lineup including Bono, Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood.

The "Idol" singing competition series returns for a new round Jan. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.