After days of speculation, Britney Spears just confirmed her departure from Fox‘s The X Factor. In addition to working on her eighth album, a source close to Britney said that the singer “is very interested in …
UPDATE PM: Sources close to the producers of X Factor confirm that Britney Spears indeed is out as a judge after one season. “The producers and Simon (Cowell) were having discussions over the holiday period about the year ahead. Britney had never been part of their plans for this year but realistically that was never going to come as a surprise to her either,” a source said. I hear Cowell and his team “have a pretty clear idea of the panel they would like for next season and discussions with one possible new judge have been going on for some time now.” The prospective new addition is expected to meet with Fox and the show’s producers in the next couple of weeks.
PREVIOUS AM: Let the annual circus program known as X Factor Judge Shakeup begin! The months of speculation that Britney Spears won’t be back as a judge on The X Factor next season reached fever pitch overnight, following a TMZ report out of Spears’ camp that she is “quitting” the Fox singing competition. The network and X Factor creator/executive producer/star Simon Cowell are not commenting, but it appears that Spears’ team has decided to get ahead of the story and position her exit from the show as “entirely her doing” so she can “focus on her music”. Sound familiar? Nicole Scherzinger, who was sacked as an X Factor judge last January, had her handlers feed E! a story that her firing from X Factor was her decision and her wanting “to focus back on her music career.”
Fox’s The X Factor plans to acknowledge those hit by Hurricane Sandy, said Simon Cowell today. “I’m certain we’ll have a shout-out to those people on that side of the coast and say, you know, stay safe, be strong and we hope that the storm blows off as quickly as possible,” Cowell said Tuesday, the day before X Factor starts airing the first of two-nights-a-week live shows. But Cowell was dismissive about worries that coming on so soon after the uberstorm that battered the East Coast and knocked out power up and down the seaboard would hurt his show’s ratings. “I couldn’t care less,” he said. The producer/judge also said he hoped Fox could find a way to repeat the show for those on the East Coast without power or cable.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
New The X Factor judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were introduced during a Fox TCA session this afternoon, live via satellite from Miami where the series was undergoing its preseason boot camp. The pop stars-turned-TV personalities were both sweet and earnest, a winning contrast to their proudly acerbic judging cohort Simon Cowell. Cowell generally behaved himself in rolling out the show’s replacements for the axed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. But even as he was exulting in the show’s new configuration, he was contradicting himself. Asked how much job security his new judges might have in light of the single-season survival of the first judges, he noted, “Job security. There’s not much. No one has any really. Not even me”. Cowell also revised what he told the media in February, when he noted that he figured the show would be hiring two women to replace first-year host Steve Jones. “The plan is to have a boy and a girl”, he said, “and ideally I’d like someone who maybe hasn’t actually been a host before. I think there’s a different role for them on this show going forward as well”. He hoped to have an announcement by the middle of August.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Sure, 19 Emmy nominations are nice – but Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan realized another significant job perk recently: A pitch from Paul McCartney suggesting that Glee feature some of his songs. “I got a mix tape from Paul McCartney a couple of days ago. I thought I was being punked,“ Murphy said at TCA. “It just sort of came out of the blue, in a package, hand-written: ‘Hi ‘Ryan, I am hoping you would consider some of these songs for Glee. I was gobsmacked. I grew up with that guy.” Ryan added that McCartney admires the show because it supports arts education, which is a draw for many artists hoping to have their songs covered by the Glee cast. “Our show is an ultimate pop culture fan letter to all of those artists,” Ryan said, adding that Glee has also given older generation songs another life through the show. He wants to keep the number of songs to around 5 or 6 each episode, instead of going for the 9 featured in that Madonna theme episode.