Walking up to the return of “American Idol” Mariah Carey and ABC News’s Barbara Walters continue to scratch each others back. Babs helps Carey publicize her debut as new judge on “American Idol” and position herself as the victim of the Nicki Minaj fracas/publicity stunt during the singing competition’s cross-country auditions. Carey helps Babs get ratings/stay relevant with more juicy talk about hiring bodyguard to protect her babies from Minaj and her followers.

And, of course, ABC News hopes the interview will help “Nightline” go out with a bang — Monday night’s broadcast is its very last in its 11:35 p.m. timeslot, before being sent to the Siberia of post-midnight TV. “Nightline” is losing its earlier start time to Jimmy Kimmel starting Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Fox will screen this season’s first episode of “Idol” in advance of its TV debut, in theaters around the country, including a movie theater in Alexandria as part of a campaign to goose flagging interest in the singing competition — a campaign that also included hiring Carey and Minaj to judge the new crop of Idolettes and ratchet up the judge-panel drama.